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GPS on cars/bikes & the govts dirty little fingers...

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by pete the freak, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. There's been a bit of talk lately about GPS tracking on bike's and I've noticed a few of the more paranoid/cynical among us suggesting that it might be used by the govt to track our every move...

    Well here it is, taken from Yahoo news today:

    Scrap fuel taxes, pay per km: expert

    Australia should consider scrapping fuel taxes and introduce a national kilometre-based charge for all vehicles, a transport expert says.

    The proposal comes just weeks after federal Transport Minister John Anderson flagged introducing a toll on the Pacific Highway between Sydney and Brisbane to enlist the finances of private companies to fund a dual carriageway.

    Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) director Professor David Hensher told a transport seminar kilometre-based charges were much more efficient.

    The user-pays scheme, based on the weight of a vehicle and the distance it travels would use global positioning system (GPS) technology to track vehicle movements, Prof Hensher told AAP after the seminar.

    Germany had introduced the system in all its freight trucks and Oregon in the United States was trialling the scheme in passenger cars.

    California was likely to adopt a similar regime in the near future and it would be applied in a limited sense, via electronic tagging, on the M7 linking Sydney's western suburbs, Prof Hensher said.

    "We've finally got the technology where we can go out and introduce an efficient charge, instead of a discriminatory one that we've currently got," he said.

    "We're really relocating the money from fuel to use (charges).

    "I think this is something that is not going to go away."

    But it would have to be phased in slowly, with the scrapping of state fuel taxes first, he said.

    As traffic into and out of Australia's major cities condenses, congestion charges, like the one levied on drivers in London, are being considered for the first time.

    But a user-pays charge on all vehicles nationwide would be a one-stop levy, Prof Hensher said.

    Despite Mr Anderson's office ruling out the introduction of such a scheme last month, Prof Hensher remained confident it was the way of the future.

    "This is not a pie-in-the-sky (idea)," he said.
  2. Re: GPS on cars/bikes & the govts dirty little fingers..

    I know that this bloke's a professor and all that, so I, as a mere knuckle dragging pleb shouldn't question his logic. But something has gone "whoosh" over my head.

    How is the present system not a "user pays" system? If I travel lots, I buy lots of petrol. Ergo, I pay lots of taxes. If I have a heavy vehicle versus a small one, I pay corresponding less taxes as I use less fuel for the same distance.
  3. I agree MJT57.

    Maybe they don't see it that way though cos current petrol tax prolly get's treated as a govt income rather than a source of road funding?
  4. brilliant!

    does anybody know how easy it is to jam a GPs signal both deliberately and/or accidentally? Just drive into a heavily enclosed area (i'm thinking trees) I'll have ridden zero kilometres :p

    also, they might want to consider the fact that the americans are decommissioning GPS in the future, it may be going commercial, is the Govt going to want to pay for the rights of gps usage? it might get a Tad expensive

    bring it on I say
  5. Where did you read this? Got a reference? I'm considering purchasing another GPS, this time, an all bells and whistles model. If I'm gonna be charged for using GPS, then I'm not gonna bother.

    In any case, if such a system were to be introduced, and GPS did go commercial, then expect the road user to pay it. Probably, they'll add a GPS tax on top of the excise, GST AND the kilometre tax....

    Errata; I refered to paying less taxes due to having a heavy vehicle rather than a light one. I meant MORE taxes....

    But then, my SS Commodore does get better economy on a trip than the missus Kia Sportage....
  6. I would suggest that any taxes raised will go straight into consolidated revenue. I don't know of any tax that is raised that doesn't. Medicare levy goes into consolidated revenue, and it, and revenues from other taxes subsidise the scheme. If I remember correctly, about 15% of road taxes collected are returned to roads, road safety, etc. Can't recall exact figures.

    When new taxes are created, governments are reluctant to pull the old ones. Witness the bunfight between the Federal and State governments over the GST. When the Libs were pushing the GST back in the 90s, I had the impression that it would replace all other taxes. Apparently, this was not to be the case.

    So, yeah, skepticism brought about by experience suggests that we'll see bugger all reduction on excise or GST, or state taxes on fuel, if this tracking system is introduced. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if there are ongoing costs associated with it, we'll be paying for it.

    Anyway, I doubt that it'll happen. Like others have said, GPS signals are too easily interfered with. GSM coverage, for the return loop of the "transaction" is patchy. And for me, that's good, given where I do most of my riding, there's bugger all mobile coverage, and lots of bushy, tree covered roadscapes...
  7. It would also potentially be a disincentive for people purchasing more fuel efficient cars.

    If a big thirsty 4x4 is going to be taxed the same as a magna and the same as a Toyota Echo the cost differential between the 3 is going to be much reduced.

    Of course... if one is cynical then one might suggest that the government might see locally built fuel inneficient cars start selling better again ;-)

    But then I'm not (quite) that cynical *yet*
  8. that is supposedly the reason california wants to look at a distance based tax system - too many people buying fuel efficient cars and gummint sees its fuel excise taxes falling.
  9. So, how will it work, compared to the present system which is also "distance based". ie: the further you travel, the more fuel you buy, and hence the more taxes you pay?

    In any case, if they're serious about greenhouse emissions, etc. they'd encourage fuel efficiency, rather than discourage it. If you own a small car, then be rewarded for it. The best way, to my knowledge, is the present system of taxing fuel per litre. They should raise taxes in other areas, where emissions need to be reduced. eg: new 4WDs have the same tax treatment as other passenger vehicles.

    Perhaps consider a return to rego fees based on a vehicles power/weight figures. I remember my first bike, a 72 Kawasaki 100 agbike having a quarter horsepower engine (RAC rating), as listed on the rego papers. It's rated output was 11hp or abut 8 kw. That might be difficult to work though, with today's 1 litre sports bikes producing 120 kw, with a similar capacity cruiser producing probably half that, but weighing nearly twice as much.

    Maybe rate them on fuel efficiency. If a vehicle does x km/l levy rego fees commensurate with that figure. Base the rating on ADR standards. ie: all vehicles sold for road use have to be subjected to standard testing. But make it realistic. The current AS standard for fuel economy, in my experience is out there with the fairies. None of my vehicles have ever come close to the estimated city/highway cycle figures.
  10. reply

    Ah yes, all very well about if you use more you pay more tax.

    However, remeber those efing big trucks use deisel. And you will remember that the Gov has a thing to reduce the price of deisel for big fleets?

    If you have (Ithink it is 3-4 or more) several trucks, you get a cut.

    So, my poor little 2.8L deisel struggles along and is paying more than those freight trains on the road. Most of the goods from interstate should be on the trains not roads. Remove the benefit they get and watch the trains get packed.

    Farmers get a reduction for their off road vehicles. Do you seriously think they don't use the same fuel as the tractor. Ha!

    Taxis etc get the tax removed (some of it anyway) from their petrol. Why? Oh, it is because they have to use it for their business. Well Hey, So do efing I. How the hell do I get to work etc.

    So who are the suckers? Look in the mirror?

    As for the trucks and their taxes. They do at least 30 times more damage (saw this in a report somewhere) than a car. Do they pay 30 times more tax? You have to be joking.

  11. Interesting that no-one seems too bothered about the govt tracking their movements by GPS.

    Hell, why don't they require the units to be installed anally - we're getting shafted as it is, so who'll notice?
  12. It should of course be noted that the user pays system is the current one. Use more petrol, buy more petrol, pay more tax. A distance based system has nothing to with with usage. A car in the country with no other choice but to drive long distances would be taxed at a higher rate than a city driver stuck in traffic, spending more time stopped at the lights than moving. Oddly, it is the country car that is operating more efficiently, using vastly less fuel per kilometre.
    At a guess, I would assume that David Hensher is a city dweller trying to make it cheaper for him to drive his 4wd phallas a bit cheaper at the expense of every other road user.
  13. reply

    Yeah Seany, the city motorist gets cheaper petrol than I.
    My taxes help subsidise the trains that run past his car.

    Good system. :evil:

    I say bring back the old system (some of the ofarcs will remember this) when the city folk paid more for their rego and 3rd party insurance. The way it should be. :p

    Gov spends lots of money on public transport (I help pay for it) so the city folks can keep driving their cars, get more freeways I pay for, and I then get dearer petrol. Yeah right on. :evil: :evil:

    Deisel is 117.9 here. :evil: Petrol is 115.9 for premium. :evil: 112 for ulp. :evil:

    What do the city folk pay? less. :evil:
  14. Well, Benalla prices are currently similar to Taralgon and I see like this. Melboune has a higher population, thus more state and federal seats. Every few yaers when promises are made, fairness in government won't be a voting issue. The last federal election in this country demonstrated that most Australians are concerned only increasing their personal wealth.
    If a few bucks a week is more important than the jailing of innocent children in detention camp, the health system, 100,000 dead Iraqis, the education of our future leaders and the sustainability of life in our environment put together, then there's no hope for reasonable fuel cost sharing.
  15. Re: GPS on cars/bikes & the govts dirty little fingers..

    Expert my ass. News paper appointed expert. I have been contacted a few times by newspapers and in each circumstance have been asked if I could be called an 'expert' in the area. If I said 'no', I didn't get quoted. If I said yes (which I did when I was knowledgable in the area) I did.

    What a crock. You can appoint yourself an freakin expert these days and everyone belives it.
  16. Re: GPS on cars/bikes & the govts dirty little fingers..

    And it's such a meaningless term. "Experts said that the system would not work due to technical reasons". That's some of the meaningless drek that journalists spew forth from their word processors.

    What experts? What are their qualifications? What are the technical reasons?

    Whenever someone says that they can't do something due to xxxx reasons, I ask them to list them (the reasons, and why). Usually, they can't. It's usually some mindless policy that has been implemented without much thought, or with a view to mislead people.

    If I'm knowledgable to the point of proficiency,where I'm to be quoted on something, I'd much rather be regarded as an authority on the subject, not an expert. After all, X is an unknown factor and a spurt is a drip under pressure...
  17. Re: GPS on cars/bikes & the govts dirty little fingers..

    And also a "has been" :)
  18. Having arrived back in my little village from Melbourne, I was happy to note that the price of premium has hit an all time high of $1.26/l at the only servo in town.
  19. Buckets

    I was in Eden not long ago and it was 126.9 then. Diesel was 129.9, Gas was 56.9. When I got back here it was only slightly lower. But in the Valley we are a captive lot and prices are on average some of the highest in the state.

    How's the fishin there?

  20. Brian... went for fish this mornin' Bagged out on Snapper and a bagful of Flatties, plus one Jewie. So not very good I'm afraid. :)