Herald Sun 3/3/16
By Dee McLachlan
‘Pay As You Go’ — a radical plan for roads was written up by Rob Harris from the Herald Sun yesterday.
The article suggests “Rego fees out in GPS-tracking idea.” DRIVERS would be electronically tracked and charged by what roads and time they travelled under a radical user-pays system to bust traffic congestion. A proposal being pushed by Australia’s infrastructure authority. And the article wants to know what “you” think.
This system would track everyone’s movement — EVERYWHERE. And the article reads like someone wants to test the public’s reaction to this “radical plan.”
This morning a letter (1984 must be kept where it belongs – in the past) in response:
The idea is said to be initiated by Infrastructure Australia.
I went on the site and scanned through the latest report (12 February). The opening sentence of the report:
“Infrastructure Australia (IA) is recommending reforms to the energy, telecommunications, transport and water sectors that will enhance Australia’s productivity over the next 15 years and beyond.”
In the Executive Summary:
Recommendation 6.4: All governments should transfer their remaining publicly-owned electricity generation, network and retail businesses to private ownership.
Recommendation 6.7: Australia’s electricity and gas market should move to full retail price deregulation as soon as practically possible.
Recommendation 6.9: NBN Co should be privatised into an appropriately regulated market in the medium term. [National Broadband Network]
Recommendation 6.10: Governments should define a pathway to transfer state-owned metropolitan water utility businesses to private ownership to deliver more cost-effective, customer-responsive services. [water privatised?]
Recommendation 6.13: Australia should seek to transition the revenue and funding framework for roads to be consistent with other utility networks by establishing a corporatised delivery model.
Recommendation 5.3: The Australian Government should initiate a public inquiry, to be led by a body like the Productivity Commission or Infrastructure Australia, into the existing funding framework for roads and development of a road user charging reform pathway.
The public inquiry should (also) consider:
- The social implications of charging reform, including transitional and distributional impacts of replacing current taxation with direct user charges
- A detailed reform pathway for transition to a full user pays model for roads covering the whole network and all users. A public inquiry into road user charging reform should be supported by large-scale voluntary trials of road user charging options, funded by the Australian Government.