Congestion charges, congestion taxes, tolls, road pricing – whatever you call it, it’s often a no-go zone for politicians – see the PublicTransport For Perth in 2031 FAQ - even, if not especially, Liberals. You may be asking, What? Liberals? You expect them to support another tax?, but there is logic behind that statement, and road pricing is needed.
The government has been subsidising the construction of our road network for decades (rego and excise don’t even come close to paying the full costs), so we need to charge properly for the use of roads. We need to charge market rates for roads, more for congested roads and times, and less for quieter roads and times, so that roads are uncongested, benefiting people who need to be on the road, like tradies and emergency services (road-based businesses should be able to get exemptions) If it makes lots of money, so be it. We can use it for essential services, like health, education and police, or cut income tax to offset the extra cost, or even both.
We would have to make sure alternatives like public transport can take the extra load, and if need be we could make it so that half the road lanes are priced and half free, so the toll lanes can be considered express lanes.
Where does this go back to the Liberal statement? Well cutting subsidies and embracing the free market is in line with the Liberal Party’s conservative foundations.