Road user charging scheme needs a revamp

The State’s peak motoring body has renewed its calls for a fairer road user charging scheme, after a new proposal to charge electric vehicle drivers was unveiled.

The Courier Mail reported a plan by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia recommended electric vehicle drivers should be charged for each kilometre travelled on the road as way to help governments fund roads, repairs and upgrades.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said while implementing a per kilometre charge in replacement of fuel taxes was one way to fund future transport infrastructure, it highlighted the need to relook at the overall road user system.

“Electric vehicles are on the rise across the country however they’re currently not contributing to funding the road networks the same way petrol drivers do through fuel excise,” Dr Michael said.

“We want to see more drivers making the switch to greener vehicles, but we need to ensure everyone is paying their fair share to maintain and upgrade the road network.

“Fuel excise is a major source of funding for road and transport infrastructure, but this is seriously under threat if something isn’t done soon to manage the growing uptake of low emissions vehicles.”

Dr Michael said the Club, together with the Australian Automobile Association, had called for an overhaul of the road user charging system to ensure critical projects could continue to be funded.  

“There’s never been a more obvious time for governments to get down to business and look at how we fund this in a more transparent manner,” she said.

“The times are changing and we need a system that is going to provide greater equality to all drivers, regardless of what keeps their vehicles moving.”