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Why are the Greens blocking the fuel tax increase?

Why are the Greens blocking the fuel tax increase?

While we support a stronger price signal on fuel use, this proposal binds all of the funds raised to road expenditure.

Wouldn't a price increase on petrol cut down on fuel use?

Only if the funds were used to provide alternatives! With this proposal Tony Abbott want to make using the road more expensive but only use the funds raised to make more roads.

Spending $5 billion on roads every year by 2030 with no scope to invest in public transport infrastructure is not an outcome the Greens can support.

Does Tony Abbott really want to spend all of the money just on roads?

The bill clearly says there will be a special account established to ensure that the net additional revenue from the reintroduction of fuel indexation is used for road infrastructure funding.  The balance of the special account can only be used for road infrastructure funding. Read the bill here.

What’s the link between roads and emissions?

  • Reduced emissions due to better road standards are outweighed by increased emissions from higher speeds
  • A 10% reduction in travel time gives 3-5% growth in traffic  in the short term and 5-10% in the long term
  • Changes in greenhouse gas emissions as a result of new road construction or road improvement equivalent to 12 tonnes Co2e per km of road for dual carriageway and 21 tonnes for four-carriage way
  • Changes to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of operation and maintenance of new road network is 32 tonnes for two carriage-way and 52 tonnes for four–carriageway

Read more here.

What do the Greens propose to reduce fuel use?

Already we have seen these public transport budgeted projects scrapped by the Abbott Government:

  • Brisbane Cross River Rail
  • Melbourne Metro
  • Perth Light Rail Public Transport Package

If we are serious about reducing fuel use, we need to give people alternative transport options, not more roads.

We have solutions for improving public transport in our cities, like light rail and high speed rail. You can read more here.

The Greens also want to mandate new tougher restrictions on vehicle fuel efficiency that will bring Australia into line with the rest of the world, save families hundreds on their petrol bills and reduce pollution from cars in our cities.

Who will pay?

People in outer suburbs that are already poorly serviced by public transport will bear the brunt of this cost.

Meantime the rebates for Big Mining will grow further.

Making everyday motorists pay more while billionaire miners get more tax-free petrol just widens the gap between rich and poor in Australia.


More information about the Greens and the Fuel Excise bill is available here.

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