Fuel excise needed to grow nation, says Infrastructure sec

Hiking fuel excise is essential for building the infrastructure needs ahead, the Commonwealth’s senior infrastructure bureaucrat told a conference this month.

Treasurer Joe Hockey scored all the headlines, but the Infrastructure secretary has set out to explain why the fuel excise fits the reform agenda Australia needs to build for its much larger future.

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development secretary Mike Mrdak this month told the Australian and New Zealand School of Government conference that the Commonwealth’s budget initiatives were a step toward correcting the structural funding problems the country faces in building for a nation quickly ballooning to 36 million people in a coming decades.

The fuel excise “gives us a glimpse into the difficulties of the government at the moment”, Mrdak told the conference:

“The government was taking a conscious decision to make revenue streams for funding new infrastructure because the proposal is that the excise indexation will be fully hypothecated to transport infrastructure projects.

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