Free marketing Liberals and Nationals strike road users

23 Sept 2014: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter is outraged by a proposal to charge a toll on every road in Australia with fees dictated by what, where and when motorists drive, as recommended by a review commissioned by the Federal Government.

Mr Katter has warned of the recommendations in the draft Competition Policy Review becoming government policy.

“Let there be no doubt that this report is a clear ‘statement of intention’ and that the locomotive is coming down the tunnel.

“The road funding for QLD for the last 15 years has gone into Brisbane. A tax on road miles – will be the final ‘coup de grac’ to cane, cattle, fruit and vegetable and tourism industries,” Mr Katter said.

Already there is an indirect charging for road use through the fuel excise and vehicle registration charges; the recommendations in this draft review are essentially proposing yet another cost on road users. This will have a dramatic impact on transport services and industry in rural Australia that is already disadvantaged compared to metropolitan Australia.

“Outside of Brisbane and the Gold Coast there is effectively no commuter transportation system in Queensland. We don’t have the density of population for commuter transportation in the likes of Townsville or Toowoomba, and most certainly not in Innisfail or Mareeba.

“We have paid a 40% tax on our fuel and a 20% tax on our motor vehicles. Whereas the average subsidy for commuter transportation in the capital cities, is over 30%.

“So when we go to work, the cities get subsidies at 30% and we get taxed at 30%. And to think that they are now going to double tax us – under the camouflage of free market and additional tolls.

“Under these high sounding principals they hide a rip off to their political advantage – buying votes in the city,” Mr Katter said.

The Competition Policy Review covers draft reform changes in electricity, gas and water, as well as aged care services, regulations covering small business planning and zoning, retail trading hours, taxis, pharmacies, parallel imports and road pricing linked to road construction, maintenance and safety to make road investment decisions amongst other issues.

Mr Katter has urged North Queenslanders to tell the government what they think of the recommendations and how these changes will affect you, by commenting on the policy review website; Submissions are due by Monday 17 November 2014.