Congestion tax 'totally insulting' to Perth
A new CEDA paper is calling for Perth to consider congestion charging to avoid the gridlock strangling other Australian capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.
CEDA Chief Executive Professor the Hon Stephen Martin said Western Australia's economic success was generating significant population growth, increasing pressure on transport infrastructure.
"This population growth will need to continue if WA is to avoid predicted labour shortages, which means consequences of that growth, such as congestion, need to be managed now," he said.
"This paper Stifling Success: Congestion charges and infrastructure delivery, aims to generate debate on options for addressing congestion in Perth now, before the issue becomes too costly for residents and business."
Paper author, CEDA Chief Economist Nathan Taylor said the cost of congestion to Perth is forecast to rise from $900 million in 2005 to $2.1 billion by 2020.
Mr Taylor said while congestion charges are often unpopular when proposed, the experience in other jurisdictions is that once implemented they become more broadly accepted.
In response, Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi says CEDA’s proposal is totally insulting to Perth.
“Coming from an out-of-town representative, it shows little understanding of our traffic masterplan and certainly no ‘sense of place’ appreciation whatsoever,” Ms Scaffidi said.
"I am actually quite shocked. Having previously worked for this think tank, I'm of the view that this kind of commentary shows ‘no thinking’ and feel they have tanked with this one”