The head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Rod Sims wants changes in the way road building and maintenance is funded.
In a speech that he will give today to the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia summit, Mr Sims will say that the road funding system now is inadequate
Motorists help pay for roads through charges such as registration from the states and the government’s fuel excise.
The problem, he will say, is that the money goes into general revenue which means the roads have to compete with schools and hospitals for funding.
He proposes that the money raised from petrol and diesel excise go straight to the bodies that build and maintain roads.
Charges would be based on forecasts for road funding needs.
“This is entirely doable and saleable,” Mr Sims will say.
The ACCC is in favour of congestion pricing where motorists pay more during peak periods. Congestion pricing has been used successfully in London and Stockholm.
But Mr Sims will say that road reform introducing congestion pricing would result in a political backlash.