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Would you pay to use the Majura Parkway?

By johnboy 5 July 2011 77

The ABC has the alarming news that Infrastructure Australia is proposing the Majura Parkway be a toll road.

Infrastructure Australia’s annual report to the Council of Australian Governments says the Majura Parkway is a nationally significant project, and should be tolled to ensure a reasonable proportion of building and maintenance costs are recovered.

Michael Deegan from Infrastructure Australia says the road could also accommodate bigger trucks.

“On a new, modern Majura Parkway we’d recommend moving to bigger trucks because they’re more efficient,” he said.

Mr Deegan acknowledges it is a controversial issue, but he says a per kilometre toll is necessary.

Should we have toll roads in the ACT?

UPDATE: The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan has expressed dissatisfaction at this announcement:

Greens transport spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan, said that this potential toll was one of many issues about the road that the Government had failed to tell the public.

“I’d like to see the Government be frank with the public about a whole range of issues surrounding the proposed Majura freeway, including whether it proposes to impose a toll on the road,” said Ms Bresnan.

“We have already seen the Government ignore a number of serious questions such as the impacts the proposed freeway would have on future congestion and transport options. The Government and the Liberals recently denied a Greens’ Assembly motion to ensure scrutiny of these issues. ”

“It is interesting to see a body like Infrastructure Australia suggesting that we can’t keep relying on major road building; today its spokesperson said we need to increase the capacity of our public transport, otherwise be prepared to pay more tolls and taxes for roads”.

“The ACT Government should examine the issue of whether high speed public transport will bring better solutions for commuters than a new Majura Freeway, as well as if the public would prefer public transport over a tolled freeway”.

What’s Your opinion?


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Would you pay to use the Majura Parkway?
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p1 2:52 pm 07 Jul 11

GBT said :

fragge said :

p1 said :

fragge said :

…..my petrol and now the carbon used to make the petrol….

I’m not sure that you understand the concept behind the “carbon tax”.

No? Enlighten me.

Actually, I was more commenting on your choice of words… The increase to the costs of driving from the “Carbon Tax” come from CO2 released into the atmosphere, not the CO2 used to make the petrol…

Fuel suppliers and distributors are excluded from the carbon tax.

fragge 2:30 pm 07 Jul 11

GBT said :

fragge said :

p1 said :

fragge said :

…..my petrol and now the carbon used to make the petrol….

I’m not sure that you understand the concept behind the “carbon tax”.

No? Enlighten me.

Fuel suppliers and distributors are excluded from the carbon tax.

Not sure what that has to do with the “concept” of the carbon tax, but thanks for the updated info nonetheless. Please note – Original comment date: 6/7/11. Article date: 7/7/11. As an aside (and back on topic), even without being taxed on CO2 waste production caused by petrol refinery, you are still taxed on CO2 waste production required to power your house (and anything else), so the original point still stands – its just one more link in the never ending chain of taxes you must pay to live in this country. Being asked to contribute to the startup costs of infrastructure (and maintenance) on top of these already exorbitantly high taxes is a slap in the face.

alaninoz 2:27 pm 07 Jul 11

Innovation said :

#68 alaninoz – sounds like today’s announcement might (ideally) make this thread obsolete. However:
1/ my initial point was that there should be better accountability for money received by public transport and infrastructure (such as roads) and the specific purpose within that particular area (eg capital cost, operating costs, inefficient (but necessary) bus routes) for which that money is to be spent.

My apologies – I obviously missed that aspect of your original post. I too am in favour of proper accountability for public monies.

Innovation said :

2/ I’m no expert but I wouldn’t think that the operating costs for a toll road would be particularly expensive given how much it can be automated. Even though that individual toll was small I incur lots of tolls for many other roads also and they mount up (and, if they weren’t paid, become worth pursuing) over time.

So long as collection of the tolls can be fully automated the operating costs of collecting them should, I agree, be small. You still have to recoup the capital costs of setting up the collection infrastructure and processes. The return from the tolls may be so small that it is less than the cost of money for the capital to set up the infrastructure. No figures for this, just a hypothetical.

Innovation said :

3/ Obviously, I use lots of “free” NSW (and occasionally other State) roads but I suspect bordering NSW towns are very very heavy users of ACT roads. None of us will ever agree on what public services should be funded from the “pot” of revenue (Federally and at State/Territory levels) and what services (or part thereof) should be funded on a user pays basis. In this case, if we don’t have to pay tolls at all (because we can still have the new Parkway and funded from existing Federal revenue) then all the better. However, although not the best option for modifying driver behaviour, potentially, tolls do have the added benefit of modifying driver behaviour.

Agreed. The split between general revenue and fee for service is always contentious.

Unfortunately, the modifications to driver behaviour are often not the ones that are desired, hence my original comment about it being to easy to avoid the, now unlikely, tolls on the Majura Parkway.

Innovation 1:24 pm 07 Jul 11

Queen_of_the_Bun – whoops, my bad. As the saying goes “I should never assume….”

Being an ACT resident though, I’m sure that you contribute to ACT revenue in plenty of other ways in addition to the minor rego fee.

Innovation 1:17 pm 07 Jul 11

#68 alaninoz – sounds like today’s announcement might (ideally) make this thread obsolete. However:
1/ my initial point was that there should be better accountability for money received by public transport and infrastructure (such as roads) and the specific purpose within that particular area (eg capital cost, operating costs, inefficient (but necessary) bus routes) for which that money is to be spent.
2/ I’m no expert but I wouldn’t think that the operating costs for a toll road would be particularly expensive given how much it can be automated. Even though that individual toll was small I incur lots of tolls for many other roads also and they mount up (and, if they weren’t paid, become worth pursuing) over time.
3/ Obviously, I use lots of “free” NSW (and occasionally other State) roads but I suspect bordering NSW towns are very very heavy users of ACT roads. None of us will ever agree on what public services should be funded from the “pot” of revenue (Federally and at State/Territory levels) and what services (or part thereof) should be funded on a user pays basis. In this case, if we don’t have to pay tolls at all (because we can still have the new Parkway and funded from existing Federal revenue) then all the better. However, although not the best option for modifying driver behaviour, potentially, tolls do have the added benefit of modifying driver behaviour.

BicycleCanberra 1:14 pm 07 Jul 11

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

Queen_of_the_Bun 1:05 pm 07 Jul 11
GBT 12:41 pm 07 Jul 11

fragge said :

p1 said :

fragge said :

…..my petrol and now the carbon used to make the petrol….

I’m not sure that you understand the concept behind the “carbon tax”.

No? Enlighten me.

Fuel suppliers and distributors are excluded from the carbon tax.

fragge 8:42 am 07 Jul 11

p1 said :

fragge said :

…..my petrol and now the carbon used to make the petrol….

I’m not sure that you understand the concept behind the “carbon tax”.

No? Enlighten me.

alaninoz 8:01 am 07 Jul 11

Innovation said :

#63 alaninoz typed “There’s a difference between capital cost and operating cost. In the proposed light rail system and the existing ACTION bus system the fares cover part of the operating cost, but not the capital cost.”

Are you sure about that? I’ve never trawled through ACTION’s finances but do they show exactly what fares and Gov’t injections/subsidies go towards? Perhaps the fares even cover the operating costs but is it reflected like this or just put into the “pot”?

Nope – life’s too short to delve into ACTION’s finances. The need for government subsidies is a good indicator though. And I won’t get into the hidden subsidies (roads, bus stops, etc) that ACTION receives.

Innovation said :

#63 alaninoz also typed “A government built and operated toll road might (MIGHT) be built and run under a similar arrangement, but tolls to cover the operating cost wouldn’t be high enough to make it worth collecting them.”

Are you sure about this also? Coincidentally, I received my ROAM statement today and it shows one toll for 59 cents. Obviously ROAM doesn’t think that’s too low to bother collecting from me….

Again, nope. The thing hasn’t been built so who knows what the capital or operating costs, or the number of users will be.But your example isn’t a good one. ROAM already has the infrastructure, processes and staff in place to collect fees that are rather larger than yours, and so can afford to collect trivial amounts.

Innovation said :

And incidentally, as per my original point, it would be nice for NSW residents to contribute towards ACT roads (especially the Majura Parkway which will probably get used by many of them). Ironically, if their RA names are any suggestion, Queen_of_the_Bun and QbnGeek might actually contribute to our roads for the first time.

Yes, it would be nice. However, was the toll road for which you paid the ROAM fee the only road in NSW that you used? Did you contribute, other than through federal taxes, to the construction and maintenance of any of the other roads?

farnarkler 10:01 pm 06 Jul 11

Wasn’t broke, didn’t need fixing.

screaming banshee 7:48 pm 06 Jul 11

farnarkler said :

Make it really straight and voila; instant dragway parkway.

There I fixed it for you.

p1 7:35 pm 06 Jul 11

fragge said :

…..my petrol and now the carbon used to make the petrol….

I’m not sure that you understand the concept behind the “carbon tax”.

Innovation 7:29 pm 06 Jul 11

#63 alaninoz typed “There’s a difference between capital cost and operating cost. In the proposed light rail system and the existing ACTION bus system the fares cover part of the operating cost, but not the capital cost.”

Are you sure about that? I’ve never trawled through ACTION’s finances but do they show exactly what fares and Gov’t injections/subsidies go towards? Perhaps the fares even cover the operating costs but is it reflected like this or just put into the “pot”?

#63 alaninoz also typed “A government built and operated toll road might (MIGHT) be built and run under a similar arrangement, but tolls to cover the operating cost wouldn’t be high enough to make it worth collecting them.”

Are you sure about this also? Coincidentally, I received my ROAM statement today and it shows one toll for 59 cents. Obviously ROAM doesn’t think that’s too low to bother collecting from me….

And incidentally, as per my original point, it would be nice for NSW residents to contribute towards ACT roads (especially the Majura Parkway which will probably get used by many of them). Ironically, if their RA names are any suggestion, Queen_of_the_Bun and QbnGeek might actually contribute to our roads for the first time.

alaninoz 6:52 pm 06 Jul 11

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

Apparently you still believe it’s a good idea to do things just because others do.

No, not just because others do. Because it is the reality of the world, and has been for a long time. I lived in Sydney in the late 80s and early 90s and used to drive along the M4 every day. It didn’t worry me to pay the toll because that toll road cut at least an hour off my Bondi-Penrith commute.

Still just saying that we should do it because others do,

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

But in the end, life is user pays. If a light rail network was built, would it be free to use? No. Are buses free to use? No. So why should a road be free to use?

There’s a difference between capital cost and operating cost. In the proposed light rail system and the existing ACTION bus system the fares cover part of the operating cost, but not the capital cost.

A government built and operated toll road might (MIGHT) be built and run under a similar arrangement, but tolls to cover the operating cost wouldn’t be high enough to make it worth collecting them.

A commercially built and run toll road would be expected to cover both capital and operating costs, and so in this case your analogies are inappropriate.

farnarkler 6:22 pm 06 Jul 11

Make it really straight and voila; instant dragway.

EvanJames 3:52 pm 06 Jul 11

watto23 said :

I have an issue with australian society today that are happy to take tax cuts, happy to receive gov handouts, but then want everything built and paid for.

That’s it. If the governments stopped all this tax collecting only to hand it back to the greedy group du jour (Families are the current one), and instead use the taxes for setting up things and building things and running things that only governments can really do, we’d all be better off.

Not taking the taxes and then paying vast bureacracies to parcel it out to people as cash. While the big things crack and fall, and then we have to buy these things from private providers, and pay again.

Stop wasting our bloody taxes and use them for something useful!

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