Motorists must pay higher rego fees, Nolan says

Queensland's transport minister defends decision to increase vehicle registration fees, saying the move is necessary to fund infrastructure investment

By Brad Gardner | December 15, 2009

Queensland's transport minister has defended the Bligh Government’s decision to significantly increase vehicle registration fees earlier this year.

Rachel Nolan says the 16.5 percent jump in fees for four cylinder vehicles and the 20 percent rise for six and eight cylinder vehicles was necessary to bankroll Queensland’s road building program.

The rises took effect from July 1 this year, the same time heavy vehicle registration fees increased.

B-double operators are now paying close to an extra $3,000, while semi-trailer fees went from $5,070 to $5,310.

"Without the increase, there may have been a need to cut back on the roads program, which could have resulted in an increase in unemployment," Nolan says.

"Even after the increase, this government continues to invest more in Queensland roads than it receives in revenue from motor vehicle registration."

According to Nolan, motorists will pay about $1.2 billion in registration fees this financial year.

"However, the state will invest $2.145 billion in planning and building the Queensland road network in 2009-10," she says.

Nolan made the comments in response to a petition signed by 100,000 residents saying they would find it difficult to keep using a car due to rising costs

"Your petitioners therefore request the House to review the vehicle registration increase to be less than 20 percent," the petition reads.

Unlike Queensland, NSW gave trucking operators a six-month reprieve from higher charges.

NSW Nationals leader Andrew Stoner raised concerns over the ability of small companies to survive.

"It grieves me that they will face much steeper costs to go into business and maintain their operations, and so will have to borrow more money," he says.

"My fear is that as interest rates rise, living the dream will become very difficult for many who are not part of conglomerates."

However, Stoner declined to oppose the increases when they were debated in the parliament due to the lobbying efforts of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA).

"The association has recommended that the Opposition not oppose the Bill," he says, adding that the ATA originally campaigned against the increases.

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