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Calls for more fuel taxes to be spent on upgrading Territory roads

Calls for more fuel taxes to be spent on upgrading Territory roads

AANT CEO, Anthony Hill spoke to Mix 104.9 host Katie Wolf

While Darwin motorists are being slugged $2.10 a litre for unleaded at the bowser, the Northern Territory’s peak motoring body is calling for more money to be spent on road upgrades.

The Automobile Association of the Northern Territory has joined a national push for motoring taxes to be reinvested in transport projects, which CEO Anthony Hill says would drive the economy, create jobs and save lives.

Mr Hill says the taxes need to be spent in a way that prioritises the country’s road network.

“Over the last decade out of all the excise that has been collected by the Federal Government which is $127 billion, only 53.7 per cent of that has actually been spent on road infrastructure projects," he says.

“We’re calling for 100 per cent of that to be spent on basically Territory roads and national roads.”

“We’ve still got a long way to go in the Territory in regards to getting our road network up to a acceptable level.”

He says about 70 per cent of NT roads are unsealed, making some off limit for tourists.

“We’ve got a lot of tourism destinations that are inaccessible for four or five months of the year still, to extend the tourism market we need these roads seen to as soon as possible.”

Amid calls for a tax cut to ease the burden of fuel prices Mr Hill says it’s not ideal.

“If we cut the excises all that’s going to do is reduce the number of these projects that can actually get done.”

Mr Hill says the AANT will continue to monitor changes in the terminal gate price to ensure savings are passed on at the pump.

“As of this morning we are seeing margins creep so we are calling on industry now to do the right thing by consumers at a time where petrol pricing is so high.”

“I would encourage all consumers to watch fuel pricing very carefully and…support those that are discounting the price and doing the right thing.”

Unfortunately, he expects the petrol pain will be around for a while yet.

“With the turmoil that’s going on around the world at the moment I think we’re still in for a little bit of a period of high prices.”

“I think we’re going to be over the $2 mark for quite some time.”

It's understood the Federal Government does not plan to make any changes to fuel taxes before the budget, which will be handed down next week.

Article courtesy of Mix 104.9 

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