The Like Canberra Party has today committed if elected to granting all 17 to 25-year-olds free registration for the first car they own.
Members of the party gathered outside the Dickson Motor Registry this morning to announce their newest campaign promise, which would cover the cost for young drivers of the government registration charge but not the insurance component of the total registration cost.
In a clear attempt to attract young voters, the Like Canberra team argued that reducing the cost of registration would help Canberrans who work in casual and part-time jobs with irregular hours, making the use of public transport difficult.
If the registration fee were eliminated for first time car-owners, it would reduce the overall registration cost for them by several hundred dollars. The exact amount charged is calculated on vehicle weight, and therefore varies on a case by case basis.
Shelley Dickerson, one of the Like Canberra party’s two candidates for the Woden-Weston Creek seat of Murrumbidgee, argues that young people need a car to live their lives because the current public transport in Canberra is insufficient to meet their needs.
“Our public transport is really not working, it’s really poor,” she says.
“Young people have lives they have to sustain, and their jobs are the ones that need them at the drop of a hat.”
Fellow Like Canberra candidate Tim Friel, who is running in the Tuggerangong seat of Brindabella, believes that his party’s proposed registration fee reduction is necessary to help young people get around, while other, better means of public transport are developed.
“This is an opportunity to help young people from day one of the next parliament,” Mr Friel says.
“After that we can investigate light rail, we can investigate a better bus system.”
The Like Canberra Party’s other policies include: the introduction of an independent corruption commissioner, the legalisation of same sex marriage and funding for a $500,000 international science, technology and arts Canberra prize.