About $13 billion the government collects each year from the cost of fuel should be spent entirely on improving transport, says the supreme body representing Australian car groups and their 8.7 million members.
The proposal is part of the Australian Automobile Association’s policy priorities for the upcoming federal election, released Sunday.
His proposals include improving road safety, more rigorous vehicle emissions testing and support for electric vehicles, and the actual spending of the main source of road construction revenue on road construction.
Australia’s fuel excise tax is just one factor driving current record high gasoline prices, but all of the revenue it raises should be spent on transport infrastructure, not the 53.7% the group says representing organizations such as the NRMA, RACQ and RACV have been spent over the past decade.
“Australian motorists deserve to have every cent of their fuel taxes spent on projects that make their commute faster, their families safer and their communities stronger,” said AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley.
He said both sides of the policy were right to resist calls for a cut in the fuel tax, which is about 44 cents a liter, but whoever wins the upcoming federal election should actually spend the money on transportation.
Actual vehicle emissions testing will help better inform new car purchases and help address environmental issues, as well as save drivers and businesses money, the AAA said.
Switching to electric vehicles is another key issue as proposals aim to strengthen the grid and install additional charging infrastructure.
Tax reform by incorporating separate luxury car taxes, import tariffs, stamp duty and vehicle tax into a single road user levy will help avoid funding shortfalls as people shift to electric and hybrid vehicles that use less fuel.
The group estimates the cost of more than 1,000 deaths and 40,000 serious injuries on Australia’s roads every year at $29 billion and wants the federal government to improve data collection and reporting to better inform government decisions and save lives as well as money.
Along with its member clubs, the AAA has also prioritized over $200 billion in infrastructure investments, including highway expansions and upgrades, public transportation improvements, and active transportation options such as bike lanes and footbridges.
AAA says its proposals will create more than 500,000 jobs and generate more than $300 billion in economic activity.