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Like Canberra pledges free car rego for 17- to 25-year-olds

By Chester Ward - 21 September 2016 23

Shelley Dickerson and Tim Friel of the Like Canberra party at the Dickson Motor Registry. Photo: Charlotte Harper

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.

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23 Responses to
Like Canberra pledges free car rego for 17- to 25-year-olds
Rustygear 7:54 pm 22 Sep 16

Aren’t there enough demands on public money without doling out gratuitous welfare?

Maya123 6:40 pm 22 Sep 16

madelini said :

I think it’s a great idea (and am wondering how much of the opposition is borne out of jealousy). Given that young people are the group most likely to be underemployed and/or balancing study commitments, this would be a great help. Keeping in mind that they have restricted it to first-time car owners, it’s not as though many will be able to rort the system. Even if restricted to the first year of car ownership this would be a great assistance, rather than having to fork out ~$900 on top of the cost of the car and insurance (especially if you earn too little to qualify for a loan). It definitely would have been of great help for me – when I was younger I lived in outer suburban Tuggeranong, worked in Red Hill and studied in the City. I begged lifts so that I wouldn’t have to spend nearly 90 minutes in commute, because I couldn’t afford to buy a car of my own. I was lucky in that I had stopped working weekends – that was a nightmare, requiring two busses and an hour-long trip to get to Woden, let alone anywhere else. The busses are not practical for many people living in the suburbs, particularly towards the outskirts of Tuggeranong and Belconnen.

Young people are often overlooked by the major parties. This is for a number of good reasons – mainly, that families probably deserve more attention as their needs tend to be greater. That said, I appreciate that one of the smaller parties is recognising that in the post-GFC world, and in car-centric Canberra, the young would appreciate a boost.

If someone can’t afford the rego, perhaps they should consider not having a car. What about parents running children all over the place, then going to work (Little spending money because they have a mortgage); people, who struggle to walk to the bus, but can still drive. What makes the youngest and the fittest so unique? Most of whom would be capable of walking, dare I say running for a bus, or cycling. Instead of catching the local bus, cycle to where the express bus runs and shorten the commute. If the excuse is, but I don’t like cycling or walking, that is not a reason to be subsidised by other people, some who would be as badly off money wise, or having a lot to balance in their day too.

Maya123 6:29 pm 22 Sep 16

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

As silly as it sounds it does confirm that because private cars are now so cheap (people are actually giving away 10 year old roadworthy cars as dealers do not want to trade them) that anyone can afford to own and drive one even though the minimum annual registration fee is about $1,000.

The 17 -25 yo demographic used to be one of the major users of public transport and that explains why Action bus patronage continues to plummet.

The tram and its rigid route won’t help swing this group back to public transport.

I can’t understand why someone would give away a ten year old car, unless you have run it into the ground and collided with a few objects. A few years back I sold my 21 year old car for more money than the NRMA said it was worth and the other doomsayers said I would get, because it was immaculate and ran really well, as it had been looked after. Plus for its age it had low kms. There are other ways to get rid of a car. I took my car out to Epic and displayed it there, so there was no need to trade it in. The car had competition too from others cars on the lot, but it still sold after only two weekends of display.

You can buy a brand new car for about $13K these days. Mind you, it’s only worth about half that as soon as it leaves the showroom floor.

A few things have changed since a “few years back”.

By your own admission in another thread, you have retired for example.

I think the Epic “display and sell thing” retired a long time ago also.

Yes, but my second hand car was a lot less to buy than $13K. I sold it for about S1,500 and that included 10 months rego. If money was short for me, $13K would still be a struggle. So not apples and apples. If Epic is closed, I imagine cars can still be advertised on line.

dungfungus 3:56 pm 22 Sep 16

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

As silly as it sounds it does confirm that because private cars are now so cheap (people are actually giving away 10 year old roadworthy cars as dealers do not want to trade them) that anyone can afford to own and drive one even though the minimum annual registration fee is about $1,000.

The 17 -25 yo demographic used to be one of the major users of public transport and that explains why Action bus patronage continues to plummet.

The tram and its rigid route won’t help swing this group back to public transport.

I can’t understand why someone would give away a ten year old car, unless you have run it into the ground and collided with a few objects. A few years back I sold my 21 year old car for more money than the NRMA said it was worth and the other doomsayers said I would get, because it was immaculate and ran really well, as it had been looked after. Plus for its age it had low kms. There are other ways to get rid of a car. I took my car out to Epic and displayed it there, so there was no need to trade it in. The car had competition too from others cars on the lot, but it still sold after only two weekends of display.

You can buy a brand new car for about $13K these days. Mind you, it’s only worth about half that as soon as it leaves the showroom floor.

A few things have changed since a “few years back”.

By your own admission in another thread, you have retired for example.

I think the Epic “display and sell thing” retired a long time ago also.

madelini 2:44 pm 22 Sep 16

I think it’s a great idea (and am wondering how much of the opposition is borne out of jealousy). Given that young people are the group most likely to be underemployed and/or balancing study commitments, this would be a great help. Keeping in mind that they have restricted it to first-time car owners, it’s not as though many will be able to rort the system. Even if restricted to the first year of car ownership this would be a great assistance, rather than having to fork out ~$900 on top of the cost of the car and insurance (especially if you earn too little to qualify for a loan). It definitely would have been of great help for me – when I was younger I lived in outer suburban Tuggeranong, worked in Red Hill and studied in the City. I begged lifts so that I wouldn’t have to spend nearly 90 minutes in commute, because I couldn’t afford to buy a car of my own. I was lucky in that I had stopped working weekends – that was a nightmare, requiring two busses and an hour-long trip to get to Woden, let alone anywhere else. The busses are not practical for many people living in the suburbs, particularly towards the outskirts of Tuggeranong and Belconnen.

Young people are often overlooked by the major parties. This is for a number of good reasons – mainly, that families probably deserve more attention as their needs tend to be greater. That said, I appreciate that one of the smaller parties is recognising that in the post-GFC world, and in car-centric Canberra, the young would appreciate a boost.

Rollersk8r 1:00 pm 22 Sep 16

Great idea! An incentive to burden young people with the ongoing cost of running a car! Give em all a free iPhone too, on a $100 per month plan!

bd84 12:35 pm 22 Sep 16

Idiotic idea. The registration fees are used to pay for maintenance and upgrades of roads & should be paid by everyone who uses the roads. Nobody should get a free or discounted rate as there is no valid reason to do so. Your age or circumstances have no relationship to the use of the roads and costs of maintaining them.

If they were really serious about such a measure, rather than just trying to bribe for a few extra votes, they would be putting forward a user pays km/time of day registration cost.

Maya123 12:24 pm 22 Sep 16

dungfungus said :

As silly as it sounds it does confirm that because private cars are now so cheap (people are actually giving away 10 year old roadworthy cars as dealers do not want to trade them) that anyone can afford to own and drive one even though the minimum annual registration fee is about $1,000.

The 17 -25 yo demographic used to be one of the major users of public transport and that explains why Action bus patronage continues to plummet.

The tram and its rigid route won’t help swing this group back to public transport.

I can’t understand why someone would give away a ten year old car, unless you have run it into the ground and collided with a few objects. A few years back I sold my 21 year old car for more money than the NRMA said it was worth and the other doomsayers said I would get, because it was immaculate and ran really well, as it had been looked after. Plus for its age it had low kms. There are other ways to get rid of a car. I took my car out to Epic and displayed it there, so there was no need to trade it in. The car had competition too from others cars on the lot, but it still sold after only two weekends of display.

dungfungus 7:33 am 22 Sep 16

As silly as it sounds it does confirm that because private cars are now so cheap (people are actually giving away 10 year old roadworthy cars as dealers do not want to trade them) that anyone can afford to own and drive one even though the minimum annual registration fee is about $1,000.

The 17 -25 yo demographic used to be one of the major users of public transport and that explains why Action bus patronage continues to plummet.

The tram and its rigid route won’t help swing this group back to public transport.

Mordd / Chris Richar 3:38 am 22 Sep 16

I do agree that Canberra at the moment is very car centric, and for younger people this does make it harder. But Canberra is also affluent and unlike 20 years ago when I was a teenager looking for work here, there is plenty of work opportunity for young people here these days without needing to travel super long distances.

I ended up working as a junior soccer ref from the ages of 12-16 when I was a kid here, and again as a senior ref from 18-20. In the former phase, I was living Southside and reffing only on the Southside (although that’s still a large area) and rode my bike or caught busses to get around. In the latter phase, I was old enough to drive, and I still rode my bike or caught busses, but this time I was reffing all over Canberra, south and north side, and the bus was still good enough back then, and the bus options 20 years ago were way worse than they are now.

I turned up for a job interview at 15 for Kingsleys Chicken at Weston Creek, 1800 people had applied, and I was 1 of 500 called in for a 1st round interview. This was for 10 part-time and casual positions available. I remember sitting there with adults 10-20 years older than me applying for the same job I was, what chance did I stand with zero job experience? None as it turned out.

That is no longer the case though these days. 20 years ago something like this would have been worthwhile, but today, it is not needed any longer. The premise of their argument is that we need this from day 1, and then we can “investigate” LR and better rapid-bus service.

Except…. both have already been investigated. LR was first investigated years ago, and is already under construction right now. Labor and Liberal are both going to the polls with improved & expanded bus services as well. These have both already been thoroughly investigated going back many years now, there is no need for a stop gap measure (as they seem to admit this would be) so that we can then investigate something we are already doing.

I feel like this post should have the year 199X or at least 200X given the case they make, it was true back then, but it is not in 2016. I like some of their overall policies, but I think this policy is very outdated and a waste of money better spent elsewhere because of that. You have disappointed me Like Canberra, I do not Like this policy idea at all.

justin heywood 10:34 pm 21 Sep 16

joingler said :

Silly idea. You don’t need a car in Canberra. I moved to Canberra in 2009, worked a job in Mitchell, another in Gungahlin as well as going to UC. Between public transport and my bike, I never had the need for a car. Nowadays, I live in Gungahlin, work in Weston Creek in the mornings and in Gungahlin in the afternoons.

I’ve never really had any need for a car. I can get everywhere I need to easily by bike or bus (or combination of the above).

On top of all that, public transport is not that bad. It’s just that most people are too snobbish to use it. When I lived in Kippax a few years back people would whinge about lack of buses to Belconnen despite direct buses leaving every 15 minutes. Seriously people? With the possible exception of Adelaide, our public transport is better than all other capital cities in the country (on weekdays). Yes, on weekends the network is garbage but there is practically no demand on weekends except for special events (when there are normally chartered busses anyway).

This proposal could be much better suited to first home buyers. It would be a much better use of money and be of more benefit to people trying to buy their first home instead of giving people a small discount on their car (which ultimately is not going to prevent them getting a car anyway).

Between this, their farcical policy to waive parking fines and no policies regarding public transport, it appears Like Canberra is not really a “common sense” party and is more a motorists party.

Maybe not so silly.
.
While the Greens themselves wouldn’t be seen dead with a ‘free rego’ policy, I’m sure they won’t say no to the preferences that will flow their way.

Maya123 10:23 pm 21 Sep 16

So, give free car registration to the fittest members of the community; ie, those, on average, the most capable of walking, cycling and getting to and from public transport. Also those most likely to have an accident. Makes a lot of sense…NOT!
I hope ‘Like Canberra’ other policies make better sense, because after reading such rubbish they are not getting my vote.
For the first year or so when I came to Canberra I didn’t have a car and I didn’t have any trouble getting around Canberra by bike and on buses. In fact I thought it was a real adventure, having come from the country where we didn’t have buses, except school buses.

richiedt 10:18 pm 21 Sep 16

If you’re interested in more information about this policy, please visit https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/likecanberra/pages/46/attachments/original/1474442522/LIKE_Canberra_REGOFEES_MEDIARELEASE_Final.pdf

Young families with kids at school in one part of town and working in another have no alternative but car travel to get around.

Also people who need to work late in some instances literally have no bus options available to them to get home so Like Canberra is here to help with what is actually a very common sense policy for what are fairly typical family and work circumstances.

wildturkeycanoe 8:39 pm 21 Sep 16

Talk about buying votes! Why not just hand out free money to whatever group you are bribing to vote for you instead of disguising it as some sort of care package?
A first car would either be a dented up bomb that belches out blue smoke or if parents contribute to the cost, a luxury European, late 2000s model. Judging by the types of cars P-platers are driving around, they don’t seem to be short of cash. Perhaps if this free rego were aimed at those who could really use the help, such as single mums, the unemployed and pensioners, I might be willing to support it. But to not have any assets test and simply being in a certain age group entitles one to a discount, the idea hasn’t been thought through very well.

joingler 7:28 pm 21 Sep 16

Silly idea. You don’t need a car in Canberra. I moved to Canberra in 2009, worked a job in Mitchell, another in Gungahlin as well as going to UC. Between public transport and my bike, I never had the need for a car. Nowadays, I live in Gungahlin, work in Weston Creek in the mornings and in Gungahlin in the afternoons.

I’ve never really had any need for a car. I can get everywhere I need to easily by bike or bus (or combination of the above).

On top of all that, public transport is not that bad. It’s just that most people are too snobbish to use it. When I lived in Kippax a few years back people would whinge about lack of buses to Belconnen despite direct buses leaving every 15 minutes. Seriously people? With the possible exception of Adelaide, our public transport is better than all other capital cities in the country (on weekdays). Yes, on weekends the network is garbage but there is practically no demand on weekends except for special events (when there are normally chartered busses anyway).

This proposal could be much better suited to first home buyers. It would be a much better use of money and be of more benefit to people trying to buy their first home instead of giving people a small discount on their car (which ultimately is not going to prevent them getting a car anyway).

Between this, their farcical policy to waive parking fines and no policies regarding public transport, it appears Like Canberra is not really a “common sense” party and is more a motorists party.

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