RACV calls for major infrastructure reform

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) has called on the Government to strengthen transport infrastructure by embracing reform for the funding and charging of transport.

In a bid to improve safety and capacity on State roads, RACV’s General Manager of Public Policy, Brian Negus, has urged the Federal and State Government to examine their current funding arrangement. 

“Anyone who travels by road or public transport in Victoria knows our state’s infrastructure hasn’t kept up with population growth or the demands of our economy,” Negus said in a statement.

“Roads and rail services in Melbourne are hamstrung by bottlenecks, congestion and underfunding, while regional Victorians are left with deteriorating, unsafe highways and a lack of regular public transport services.”

Negus said the RACV supported the ‘Road Pricing and Transport Infrastructure Funding: Reform Pathways for Australia’ paper, released by the Australian Automobile Association and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.

“This report reinforces the need for new approaches to road funding, that provide a better relationship between taxes and expenditure, to be examined,” Negus said.

“RACV supports moves to trial direct road pricing, or user-charging, as one means of delivering fairer outcomes as part of a comprehensive plan for reform of road funding.”

However, Negus warned that motorists would not accept paying more than they presently do.

Negus also noted that to be effective, any funding reforms must be coupled with the development of a long-term integrated and balanced transport plan to improve Victoria’s road and public transport networks.

“Infrastructure must be targeted to areas identified with the greatest need; delivering safer roads in rural and regional areas; improved productivity along our major freight routes; and to address growing congestion in Melbourne,” said Negus.

“There is a great opportunity for political leaders to implement reforms which will deliver a tangible benefit to our state and the nation.”

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