No congestion tax or distance-based tolling: Bligh

Bligh Government again rules out introducing congestion taxes and distance-based charges in South East Queensland

June 3, 2010

The Bligh Government has again ruled out introducing congestion taxes and distance-based road charges in South East Queensland.

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace was forced to reiterate the Government’s stance after a report in the Queensland newspaper, The Courier Mail, claimed there was a secret plan for a kilometre-based charge.

"We have made our position on this crystal clear. The Bligh Government will not introduce a congestion tax in this state," Wallace says.

"The issue was brought to Cabinet in February and was ruled out."

Wallace says plans for a tax and distance charging were modelled by the public service as part of strategies to reduce traffic congestion.

"Good transport planners do the modelling work and look at all the options which is what they have done," he says.

While saying the Opposition has not ruled out introducing new road taxes, Wallace claims the Government is committed to single-point tolling.

He says the Government is also trying to encourage greater use of public transport and is investing in new infrastructure such as the second Gateway Bridge to cut congestion.

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan in March this year repeatedly ruled out any new road charges.

The Opposition claims the fees will be part of the Connecting SEQ 2031 transport plan, which is intended to provide long-term transport funding options.

The plan is due to be released this year and will look at issues such as congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and oil prices.

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