West Australian motorists are being ripped off as billions of dollars in fuel excise is siphoned out of the State and sent to road projects across the country.

Work done for the RAC shows just 48¢ for every dollar of excise collected by the Federal Government is returned to the State. And the situation could be even worse if the $1.8 billion Perth Freight Link is abandoned.

The RAC says governments of both political persuasions have let down WA which is also short-changed by the way GST is hoovered out of the State and sent to areas such as Tasmania and South Australia.

This financial year, the Federal Government will collect about $2.4 billion in motor vehicle-related taxes from WA motorists but just $1.1 billion will be returned in Federal funding for local roads.

Over the next four years, almost $6 billion will be collected in excise duty on petrol and diesel alone, with less than half of that coming back to the State.

RAC research, completed by ACIL Allen Consulting, suggests just 48¢ of every Federal dollar collected from WA motorists will return to the State’s roads through 2015-16.

It would be an increase from the 34¢ recorded the previous year, but after a spike driven by the freight link, total spending is expected to fall sharply by the end of the decade.

RAC corporate affairs general manager Will Golsby said for a long time under successive Federal governments, WA motorists had been let down.

“Perth is facing a congestion crisis and our regional road and transport networks require increased investment to keep communities connected and safe,” he said.

“WA motorists are paying more than their fair share through taxes such as fuel excise, yet the trend continues — there are questions to answer and the returns need to get better.”

On current trends Perth will have seven of the 10 most congested roads in the country by 2031.

The RAC also wants better planning for transport, including public transport, in WA.

While the State Government carries its weight when it came to transport spending, Mr Golsby said it needed to have projects that are ready to be delivered and funded.

“Governments need to address the infrastructure gap and the funding deficit currently facing WA,” he said.

Extracted in full from The West Australian.