Road User Charges

11 December 2020

­Someone has to pay

Let’s get one thing straight – the Victorian Government’s recent announcement that it will tax electric vehicles (EVs) with a Road User Charge is not about the environment or being a gas guzzler or a greenie. It’s about roads. That’s all.

Australia is about the size of Europe. So, building and maintaining our road network with only 26 million inhabitants to fund it is crippling for the country.

Roads are expensive. There are lots of them. Someone has to pay. And that’s that.

The announcement from Minister Tim Pallas that the State Government will begin taxing EVs 2.5 cent/km from July 2021 has been met with vitriol. It’s unfair, say some. They’re coal-loving neanderthals, say others.

That’s not the case. The Andrews Government is simply looking ahead and asking the question as to who will pay for roads in the future. With petrol and diesel usage set to decline, the tax on fuel will not sustain the required costs of maintaining our road network.

The fairest way to pay for roads is to have those who use them contribute to the cost. And that means road users – owners of cars, motorcycles, commercials, and trucks.

When people get all emotional about the tax, they need to stop and consider that owners of EVs are road users – and should pay their fair share.

As EV sales accelerate and with internal combustion engines set to be banned sometime in the future, just who is going to pay for the roads then?

Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 11 December 2020.

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