Brisbane families are spending more than $19,000 a year in transport costs, according to The Australian Automobile Association’s latest Transport Affordability Index.
The report shows that Brisbane households are spending a 16.8 per cent chunk of their total income on transport, up from the national average of 13.6 per cent.
For the purposes of the report (and informed by the 2016 Census), a typical household consists of a couple with children and two cars.
The typical Brisbane household spent $377 a week on transport in the first quarter of 2017, well above the national average of $335.84.
Car loan payments constituted the biggest cost for Brisbane households at $123.80 a week, followed by fuel at $64.97, public transport at $53.64 and tolls at $49.30.
It all adds up to Brisbane households spending $220 more on transport than they did in the last quarter, primarily due to increasing fuel costs.
In total, Brisbane households are spending $19,629 a year on transport, second only to Sydney, where households are spending $22,237 a year on transport.
Hobart came in with the lowest transport cost, at $14,852 for the year.
There’s no relief on the way for Brisbanites, with the cost of registering a vehicle in Queensland set to jump by 3.5 per cent — almost double the rate of inflation — from 1 July 2017.
RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith says oil cartel OPEC is largely to blame for Brisbane’s rising transport costs.
“Transport costs here increased at a rate higher than inflation and filling up the car was the major contributor to this, as well as car servicing and tolls,” she says.
“Fuel prices rose in all the capital cities during 2017’s first quarter thanks to the oil producer cartel OPEC cutting production and forcing an increase in the oil price.
“What’s frustrating for Brisbane motorists is that we remain the most expensive place to fill up on the south-eastern seaboard, with Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne motorists enjoying cheaper fuel so far this year.”
Australian Automobile Association (AAU) chief executive Michael Bradley says the government’s fuel excise tax, which increased to 40 cents a litre from 1 February 2017, is taking its toll.
“The increasing costs borne by households for land transport highlights the need for all governments to develop policies and make infrastructure investments that will make transport more affordable,” he says.
“In the lead-up to the 2017-18 Budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison said the focus of the budget would be consumers struggling with the cost of living in an era of low wage growth.
“Despite this, motorists will pay $12.5 billion in net fuel excise in 2017-18, an increase from $12.0 billion in 2016-17. At the same time, the proportion of excise returned to motorists in the form of land transport infrastructure investment will decrease from 66 per cent in 2017-18 to just 30 per cent in 2020-21.”
Bradley says the AAU will continue to work with the government to develop “a new transport infrastructure funding model that is more transparent, fairer and more sustainable, and which eases the cost burden on families”.
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