SA Government begins consultation for transport development levy legislation

THE South Australian Government last week released for consultation its draft legislation for a transport development levy to fund improvements to the state's public transport system, as well as a report from consultant Property & Advisory that reviewed the impact of the proposed levy.

Under the draft Transport Development Levy Bill 2013, a levy will be imposed on certain parking spaces within the central business district of the City of Adelaide in order to raise revenue to be used to provide or support programs designed to improve transport services and transport safety.

The levy, which is due to commence in 2014-15, will apply to off-street and on-street car parks located within the Adelaide CBD. The first date of assessment will be 1 January 2015, with owners to pay $750 per annum per car pack space, indexed annually.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the government wants to make catching public transport more attractive, adding that the city is experiencing increasing traffic congestion and has relatively low rates of public transport use and more car parks per capita than any other Australian capital.

Mr Weatherill said the consultant's report revealed that with the exception of Canberra, Adelaide has the cheapest CBD parking in Australia. As a result of the report and community feedback, he said a number of changes have been made to the draft legislation.

The legislation details a number of exemptions to the levy, including residential car park spaces, car parking spaces provided to customers of businesses free of charge, loading bays and bus layovers, disability car park spaces, car park spaces for emergency vehicles, short term parking by the general public on a hospital site and car park spaces for motorcycles, display vehicles, servicing vehicles or stock vehicles.

According to the government, the levy will initially be used to pay for new park-and-ride and passenger facilities at various locations around suburban Adelaide with Paradise, Mount Barker and Clovelly Park to be the first locations, as well as an upgrade of passenger facilities at 'super stops' in Currie and Grenfell Streets.

Mr Weatherill said new revenue streams were necessary to continue and extend the government's investment in the state's public transport system. It is expected that the levy will raise almost $30 million in 2014-15.

"Over the next four years we are investing $373 million on the extended and electrified Seaford rail line, new electric trains and 107 new buses," he said.

The draft legislation is open for consultation until 31 January 2014. More information is available from the RevenueSA website at <http://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/>.

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