12/24/2005Australia: Toll Road Charges People For Not Using Toll Road
Queensland, Australia charges transponder users if they don't make frequent trips on the toll road.
Nearly 200,000 motorists in Queensland, Australia will now be charged $10 every three months if they fail to use a state toll road in that period. The penalty, up to $40 annually, applies only to those who have an electronic toll transponder. Officials put the penalty in place to recover revenue after Queensland Motorways dropped a $40 minimum deposit requirement for the transponders. The devices are used by about half of Queensland motorists.
In 2003, Queensland Motorways repaid more than $100,000 in tolls after the Courier-Mail newspaper exposed the intentional overcharging of users. In July, tolls were raised between 10 and 50 cents on most roads. Future tolls will automatically increase with inflation.
Opposition leaders in the state parliament condemned the quarterly charges as a "secret tax."