Perhaps a partial answer to your
and from the Minister for Urban Infrastructure & Cities on ABC Breakfast 20/1/2018:
"Paul Kennedy: Your government previously said, the former prime minister Tony Abbott said, that particular recommendation for road pricing is unlikely to be accepted by any government. What's changed in your government's mind?
Paul Fletcher: We've had a number of recommendations, including from the Productivity Commission, Infrastructure Australia and others, and so in late 2016, when the Government announced its response to the Infrastructure Australia 15 year plan, the Prime Minister and I said that we did intend to commission a review of the question of how Australia's roads are funded and paid for. That would be a 10 to 15 year journey if there were to be any change to our current system, because of course there'd need to be agreement by all of the state and territory governments as well as the Commonwealth Government. We'd need to be satisfied it was a better system, a fairer system, and a system that produced better roads. But we are spending $24 billion a year on our roads, so there's very substantial expenditure. Many Australians don't understand, or are not aware that they are paying to use our roads today through the fuel excise system, through state motor vehicle registration charges, through a whole range of other ways, and so it is worth having a look at what is the system today, and are there any changes that could be made to it? But as I say …
Paul Kennedy: [Interrupts] Paul Fletcher, just asking on behalf of- I think the number is two out of three people use their car to get to work, but in some parts, further out, some people have to get to the city—four in five have to drive from outer suburbs. In some places, like outer Melbourne, talk about infrastructure, infrastructure hasn't quite caught up with those communities, so they have to drive. Some are paying tolls. Some are struggling to afford driving their cars already. How would road pricing affect those people?
Paul Fletcher: Look, that's a really good summary of some of the issues that any review would have to look at, and I emphasise that any change in this area is a 10 to 15 year journey, but it's worth bearing in mind that people in outer suburbs, people in rural Australia who are travelling longer distances are already paying more to use our roads today because they're using more fuel. So the question to look at is could there be a fairer system, could there be a system that would give us better roads? That's worth looking at, but it's worth taking a thorough look at. This is about any change here being a 10 to 15 year journey, not anything to happen overnight, but we do want to have a thorough look at some of these issues."
and the Report from the Productivity Commission which recommended a review (the section on Transport covers much of this costing issue):