What my speech here.
I rise to speak in favour of the motion to disallow section 43 of the Transport Legislation (Fees) Amendment Regulation 2019, subordinate legislation No. 74 of 2019, tabled in the House on 11 June this year.
For the past five years in a row, Labor has hit Queenslanders with above-inflation tax increases on their car registration costs. In fact, since Annastacia Palaszczuk became Premier registration costs have gone up by a whopping 17.3 per cent.
We think that is unfair, so we are fighting Labor’s registration hikes with this disallowance motion.
My electorate of Bundaberg is a low socio-economic area, and the ever-increasing cost of living is the most common concern I hear from residents on a daily basis. It is not just car registration prices residents are worried about. Bundaberg residents are being hit by this government from all angles, with exorbitant electricity prices and skyrocketing fuel costs also taking a massive toll. The Premier and her ministers might be able to afford the constant increases, but everyday
Queenslanders cannot. Whether it is driving to work, dropping the kids to school or shopping for groceries, Queenslanders are feeling the pinch from increased transport costs.
Queensland has some of the most expensive registration fees in the country, with the highest charges in the six- and eight-cylinder categories and the second highest in the four-cylinder category. If that is not enough, the RACQ has also confirmed that Queenslanders pay more for their car registration than the average of all other states and territories. Families and businesses across Queensland—all 5.3 million people—are paying more than they should be paying, all because of Labor.
At the start of this speech I mentioned that the registration increases are above inflation. In fact, they are well above it. In July 2017 registration fees increased by 3.5 per cent—the same as the year before and the year before that. This was nearly double the rate of inflation. Just this year alone Queensland motorists will contribute $1.9 billion in registration tax revenue. While we recognise that that money contributes to building and maintaining our roads, Labor is not investing wisely. Instead, it is taking more from the hardworking taxpayer and delivering less in return.
For example, just like all Queenslanders, Bundaberg residents are paying the government yet they continue to miss out when it comes to transport projects. In this current financial year there was not a single dollar allocated to any major road upgrades or roadworks in the Bundaberg electorate. I say that again for members opposite: no money allocated for major road upgrades or roadworks in the Bundaberg electorate.
Mr Power interjected.
Mr BATT: I am not sure what the Bundaberg hospital has to do with road upgrades.
The only line in the TMR funding section was funding for ongoing maintenance of the Burnett traffic bridge—something that has been maintained and going on for years. We have a number of roads that are screaming out for an upgrade, but our calls continue to fall on deaf ears. Hundreds of community members have petitioned the minister to upgrade the intersection of Ashfield Road and FE Walker Street and address issues relating to four schools nearby. We continually get a no from the minister. I even met with TMR staff to try to work through this issue, yet there is not one major road upgrade for the Bundaberg area. Even installing flashing lights at school zones would be a great thing to do right across
Queensland for a minimal amount. Instead, we have to wait over 20 years for all schools to get flashing lights because transport budget money is not being spent appropriately.
A bikeway to Bargara from Bundaberg is a fantastic initiative that people talk to me and the member for Burnett about daily. The minister can find money for a bikeway in his electorate, but we cannot seem to get one from Bundaberg to Bargara.
The Quay Street bypass would be a game changer for the Bundaberg district. The federal government has thrown $40 million towards this upgrade, but there is nothing for it in this state budget. It would help redevelop our CBD and support jobs in the Bundaberg area. Again, we get nothing from this government.
At a time when this state is battling under the highest unemployment rate in mainland Australia and a time when families are genuinely struggling to make ends meet, it is unfair and unjust for Labor to yet again reach into the pockets of Queenslanders.
In stark contrast, the LNP has a strong track record of delivering monetary relief for motorists. We know and understand the pressure that mounting cost-of-living increases have on families. That is why we froze registration costs for the family car for three years upon gaining office in 2012. This meant that the cost of car registration at the start of 2015 was the same as it was three years earlier.
The LNP has a plan to ease cost-of-living pressures for families and build a stronger Queensland with the roads and transport infrastructure that our growing state needs. Again that is why I speak in favour of this disallowance motion moved by the member for Chatsworth.
Tuesday, 17 September 2019