The 2023-24 Federal Budget includes important initiatives to improve road safety and support the uptake of EVs and decarbonise homes; however, RAA is concerned by the overall decline in funding for infrastructure projects.
RAA welcomes Federal Budget announcements of:
RAA Senor Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said road safety and the decarbonisation of homes and transport were key areas of focus for South Australia’s largest member organisation.
“With South Australia’s road fatality numbers spiralling (48 vs 28 this time last year), and the most fatalities occurring on roads Australia-wide in the first three months of the year since 2019, RAA welcomes any funding commitments aimed at improving road safety,” Mr Mountain said.
“The $18.9 million to increase the availability of data will help road safety initiatives to become more targeted and effective, ultimately helping to reduce the number of lives lost and serious injuries.”
Mr Mountain said RAA also welcomed funding that would support the switch to electric vehicles and help South Australian homes become more energy efficient.
“We welcome funding to support the decarbonisation of the Australia’s transport network, including the development of Fuel Efficiency Standards, something RAA has long advocated for.
“Also included in the Budget are initiatives help Australians switch to EVs, including a national charging infrastructure mapping tool.
“On a State level, we also welcome a $2-billion investment in the hydrogen industry, which will help establish Australia and South Australia as a global leader in hydrogen.”
Mr Mountain said RAA noted that only 85 per cent of funding generated by the fuel excise would be allocated to transport infrastructure projects – down from 92 per cent in the previous Budget.
“RAA is concerned there is a decreased focus in this Budget towards road and transport infrastructure, and will be closely monitoring the outcomes of the upcoming review of federal infrastructure funding.
“Along with the Australian Automobile Association, we believe that all 100 per cent of funding generated through the fuel excise – estimated to be more than $15 billion – should go towards road and infrastructure upgrades.
“This is particularly important given the known backlog of maintenance across the road network.
“RAA looks forward to the outcome of the current 90-day review into federal infrastructure spending, that it hopes will confirm funding for key projects such as the Truro Bypass, and the next stage of the Augusta Highway duplication project.