Published: August 26, 2008 - 07:01 AM
Will the Victorian Government introduce a commercial congestion charge?
By Lesley Coombes
Melbourne taxis and trucks could be forced to pay road tolls in an attempt to challenge CBD congestion, the Herald Sun reported Monday.
Roads Minister Tim Pallas has denied any plans to introduce congestion tax and confirms there will be no “tolling existing roads for general motorists’ use.”
The Opposition has made much of the Minister’s use of words “General Motorists use,” arguing the gates have been left open for a potential toll on commercial vehicles. Any increase in tolls for taxis and trucks is unlikely to be absorbed by the operators and the financial burden of a congestion tax will ultimately be passed on to the end consumer.
The Victorian Government has stressed that “managing congestion into the future will not be easy.” But with Victorian consumers dealing with rising costs in petrol, interest rates and also gas prices and electricity rates can they really afford another hidden tax?
David Power of ShopAround.com.au said “Melbourne commuters have already been hit by the rising cost of fuel and at home they deal with rising living costs as interest rates continue to go up and other household costs such as electricity and gas prices rise. Whilst the Reserve Bank ius rumoured to be halting the rise in interest rates, other costs, in particular electricity rates and gas prices are continuing to rise and will only do more so in the next 2 to 5 years. The Victorian government needs to assess whether Melbourne commuters can really afford another hidden tax.”
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