West Australian minister promises the government won’t sit on a mountain of cash from motorists meant to help improve road safety
THE West Australian Government says it will start to plough tens of millions of dollars reaped from the state’s mobile and fixed speed cameras back into improving roads rather than absorb it into general revenue.
The move will be part of an overhaul of the state’s road-based organisations, including the $111 million Road Trauma Trust Account that collects all of WA’s red-light and speed camera fines, and is meant to siphon it back into improving road safety.
However, the government faced stiff criticism after the fund held onto more than $80 million last financial year, the state’s budget papers reveal, while the speed camera network is poised to reap almost $100 million in fines over the next 12 months alone, bumping the RTTA’s coffers to about $200 million.
WA’s minister for road safety, Liza Harvey, told the ABC the money would be spent on initiatives that would help the state cut its road toll.
Harvey said a record $111 million would be spent on “the various different areas that we need to focus on, which is run-off-road crashes, intersection crashes".
"We've got some money in there for public education campaigns and a range of other matters,” she said.
However, Harvey said the government would not be spending the fund’s entire cash holdings in a single financial year, and would instead spread it over several years
Speed cameras and low tolerances continue to be something of a cash cow for state governments, which are largely unaccountable as to where the money from speeding fines is spent.
Victoria is expected to earn more than $370 million from speed cameras this financial year, while NSW estimates it will reap almost $350 million.
Queensland does not disclose how much it earns from speed cameras, combining its earnings in consolidated fines revenue, while South Australia expects its earnings from motorists will increase this financial year with the addition of new cameras.
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