Page 1951 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 27 June 2023

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Motor vehicles—registration

MR COCKS: My question is to the Minister for Business and Better Regulation. Minister, your government has stated that the way vehicle registration is calculated is due to change on 1 July 2024. The Access Canberra website indicates that you intend to shift to an emissions based calculation system to incentivise adoption of electric cars, and the Chief Minister claimed months ago that the cost of registration will not go up for most private passenger vehicles.

However, nearly a year after you announced this change, there still seems to be no publicly available information on how registration fees will be calculated under the new scheme. Unlike other jurisdictions, Canberrans have no online tool to calculate what their vehicle registration will cost. This is compounded by the complex and confusing way rego fees are currently calculated.

Minister, how, precisely, will the total cost of registration be calculated following the change, and which vehicles will see an increase in the cost of rego?

MR BARR: The policy area sits with me. I think it is probably easiest to take that on notice. Trying to explain the complexities of the registration system in one minute and 40 seconds with 27 interjections from Mr Hanson will—

Mr Hanson: I promise not to.

MR BARR: And yet you do! I thank Mr Cocks for the question. It is a legitimate question. I think there are two elements. Perhaps it might be easier to arrange a briefing for you, Mr Cocks. But I think it is important—and I am sure Ms Cheyne will take this on—that there is further information available on the website.

MR COCKS: Chief Minister, how can Canberrans trust you to keep rego fees under control when they are already disproportionately high and you will not reveal what the cost will be under the new scheme?

MR BARR: Of course, our motor vehicle registration costs need to assist in the maintenance of the territory’s road network. The intent of the reforms is to provide an incentive towards lower-emission vehicles and a small disincentive towards the highest-emission vehicles.

As I think Mr Cocks referred to in his opening question, I think about 96 per cent of vehicles are either cheaper or the same and about four per cent would see an increase.

MR PARTON: Chief Minister, why does your government make it so difficult for people to find out the cost to register a vehicle when other jurisdictions have easy online tools?

MR BARR: I take on board the point that there is a lot of interest from those opposite in this policy direction. I am sure that they will try to find a reason to oppose it—because, like most things, when it comes to implementing a progressive reform that might reduce emissions and reduce costs for motorists, they would be opposed. This is from the party that said that electric vehicles would end the weekend.

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