Transport Minister Eric Charlton said today motor vehicle registration fees would change from July 1 as part of the Government's TransformWA program, a major capital works initiative which would complete the State's unfinished transport network.
"All revenue raised through increases will channel directly into 37 major transport projects around the State," Mr Charlton said.
"Widening the Narrows Bridge, upgrading the Kwinana Freeway into an expressway to link with the Mandurah dual carriageway, completing the Tonkin and Roe Highways, and upgrading key transport routes in the East Murchison and Mid-West are examples of where the money will go.
"The extra revenue will also go towards our objective of building a public transport system which will be the envy of other capital cities," he said.
Mr Charlton said there would be a new method of charging licence fees and horsepower would no longer be used as a benchmark. Instead, the fee would be based solely on the weight of a vehicle - $12 per 100kg - meaning the heavier the vehicle, the higher the licence fee.
"The registration fee for a V6 Holden Commodore will go up $51 to $357 a year but even with the new charges WA will still be significantly lower than Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland," he said.
Mr Charlton said the average licence fee increase would be around $1.20 a week for a six cylinder family vehicle. People on pensions currently not paying a licence fee will not be affected, while those entitled to a 50 per cent concession will still only pay half the increase. Rebates for family cars will remain.
While the licence increase would not apply to heavy trucks over 4.5 tonnes, because they are the subject of a national scheme, licence fees would be affected by changes to the intra-state and diesel fuel concession through the removal over two years of a 25 per cent concession. The existing diesel fuel concession would be removed for all vehicles.
People would not be able to pre-pay registration fees in advance and if they required more information they should ring the TransformWA special information number 1300 360 577.
"Prior to the Coalition winning government in 1993 the transport network had been neglected and we set out to remedy the situation," Mr Charlton said.
"We have been able to increase Main Roads WA funding from $320million to $550million a year and with road transport reforms the result has seen a staggering reduction of up to 30 per cent in road transport freight charges and the emergence of one of the most efficient and competitive road freight transport industries in the world."
Mr Charlton said TransformWA would fill in the missing pieces, not only in the metropolitan area but regionally where haulage and tourism roads like the Leinster-to-Mt Magnet and the Wiluna-to-Meekatharra roads would be sealed.
This meets a Government commitment to improve the transport infrastructure for the gold and nickel industries which have expanded rapidly in these remote areas.
"By advancing work on these two vital road projects by up to 10 years we are providing a catalyst for further economic development in the Mid-West and the goldfields," the Minister said.
"The TransformWA program also brings forward upgrade work on key roads of the South-West, the Great Southern and Wheatbelt giving communities in those regions a more efficient and safer transport network.
"Road and public transport projects included in TransformWA are the result of increasing community demand and ultimately the onus on funding the plan rests with all road-users."
Every cent raised through the licence fee increase would be monitored by an independent body comprising local government representitives and other road-user groups and used only for the transport network.
Media contact: Doug Cunningham on 9321 7333.