Fine tuning still needed on Federal Budget
We're pleased to see the road-related measures announced in the Federal Budget, however fine tuning is still needed in order to make Tasmanian roads safer.
During the federal election we campaigned for a significant increase in funding for the Tasman Highway, and we're pleased to see $100 million included as part of the $561 million Tasmanian major highway package.
The package covers the Bass, Tasman, East Tamar and West Tamar Highways and we're now waiting to see timelines for the projects so we can start to see changes to Tasmanian road safety as soon as possible.
Also in the budget, was an allocation of 92% of the net fuel excise to be returned to infrastructure, which is a vast improvement on the average of the past decade. However, we would like to see 100% allocated to our highways and roads for maintenance.
We'd also like to see is reform in the tax regime, switching from the current fuel excise to instead be a road user tax. This would address the rising number of electric vehicles (EVs) on our roads which currently don't pay any tax to our roads through the fuel excise.
Cost is a major barrier for consumers in the take-up of EVs so it's important government works towards initiatives that reduce prices.
We support the purchase tax cuts on EVs, which from 1 July 2022, will exempt battery, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrid electric cars from fringe benefits tax and import tariffs if they have a first retail price below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel-efficient cars. Cost is a major barrier for consumers in the take-up of EVs so it's important government works towards initiatives that reduce prices.
Finally, we'd also like to see state and local governments increase electric vehicle uptake in their own fleets to increase the number of EVs coming onto the used-vehicle market over the next five years, putting them within reach for more Tasmanians.