Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 Road Funding and Fuel Excise Total fuel excise provides $6.4 billion in revenue to the federa 1 government. Li ke all tax revenue, these funds help to fi nance the whole range of government servi ces inc 1 udi ng education, health, pensions, assistance to veterans and defence. Fuel excise was never intended simply to finance roads any more than alcohol excise is for treating alcoholism or tobacco excise is for treating lung cancer. The suggestion is absurd. Despite this, a total of $1.341 billion is being provided di rect ly for roads by the federa 1 government thi s year. That represents about 5.7 per 1 itre of petrol or about 25% of fuel excise paid by the motorist. The rest of the fuel excise also assists the federal government to provide $13.2 billion to the states in untied 'grants and $687 m to local councils in untied grants this financial year. In turn, the state government spends about $1.4 billion on roads and local councils spend about $1.4 billion on roads. That makes a total of about $4.3 billion spent on Australia's roads thi s year by the 3 1 eve 1 s of government. As a proportion of total fuel excise paid by the motorist that represents about 80%. Roads and Road Crashes/Fatalities Australian roads claimed 2801 lives in 1989 compared with 2879 in 1988. The 1989 figure was the third lowest for the decade. About 30 000 people were injured on the roads. The peak year for deaths on Australia's roads was 1970 with 3798. In 1960 there were 9.3 deaths on our roads per 10 000 vehicles. In 1988 there were 3 - a drop of 68% . In 1960 there were 25.4 deaths per 100 000 of the population. In 1988 there were 17.4 - a drop of 31%. In 1960 there were 3:6 deaths per 100 million vehicle kilometres. In 1988 there were 1.9 - a drop of 47%. The introduction of compulsory seat belts, random breath testing, greater driver education, improved vehicle safety standards, better roads and more effective enforcement has resulted in the saving of over 20 000 lives since 1970. Had the trend of the 1960s been maintained through to last year, there would have been over 6000 deaths on Australia's roads. Motorist groups have claimed that 30% of road deaths are caused by the condition of our roads. They know that this claim is false. It is based on a survey which indicated that, in 30% of road deaths, the main contributing factor was environmental elements. In about 30% of those cases, the condition of the roads was a contri but i ng factor. Thus, 9 out of 10 crashes on our roads are primarily due to factors other than road conditions. 8791