Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said today that the Department of Transport (DOT) was now estimating the additional operating costs of Victoria's public transport from the Federal Labor Government's carbon tax at almost $53 million in total over the next three financial years from 2012/13 to 2014/15.
Mr Mulder said that the DOT had updated its advice of a year ago that Labor's carbon tax would increase the operating cost of Victoriia's public transport by $48 million in total over three years to $53 million, reflecting the 2010/11 estimates of public transport's energy use.
"In 2012/13. the overall cost of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's carbon tax for the operation of Melbourne and Victoria's trains, trams and buses is expected to be $15.2 million, rising to $21.7 million by 2014/15," Mr Mulder said.
"Metro is expected to incur $10.8 million in additional operating costs in 2012/13, rising to almost $12 million by 2014/15. Country rail operator V/Line is expected to incur almost $2.2 million in extra costs in 2012/13, up 56 per cent from the previous estimated cost of $1.4 million, while Labor's carbon tax will increase the cost of operating trams by $2.2 million.
"DOT's estimate of extra operating costs is conservative. It omits the extra train kilometres from the Coalition Government's doubling of weekend Metro train frequencies on the Dandenong, Frankston and Ringwood lines to every 10 minutes from April 2012."
Mr Mulder said that these extra operating costs would fall on Victorian taxpayers.
"Public Transport Victoria reimburses rail, tram and bus operators for the cost of electricity and diesel fuel used to operate public transport trips," Mr Mulder said.
"Every extra dollar that the Coalition Government has to fork out for the costs of a carbon tax in relation to public transport is one less dollar that can be used to construct new rail lines, order new trains and trams, build or upgrade railway stations or introduce new bus routes. At both Federal and State levels, the Australian Labor Party supports this costly tax that makes operating public transport more expensive," Mr Mulder said.
"By 2014/15 when Labor intends an on-road carbon tax to commence, DOT forecasts that the annual additional cost for Victoria's school buses will be $750,000 while metropolitan and country route buses would face annual extra costs of $3.3 million and $510,000 respectively.
"The effect of Labor's carbon tax just keeps on getting worse", Mr Mulder said.