Queensland transport cost spike leads nation
QUEENSLANDERS suffered the biggest jump in transport costs in the three months to June on the back of rising fuel and car loan expenses, according to a new report.
The Australian Automobile Association's quarterly affordability index shows Brisbane led all capital cities with annual travel costs jumping by $754 compared with an average hike of $429.
And annual travel costs in Townsville spiked $609, outstripping all other regional centres surveyed.
Transport costs had stabilised across the country in the first quarter of 2019 after large increases in 2018 but the AAA found they were accelerating again and sitting well above average inflation.
Average annual transport costs for Brisbane residents jumped to $20,528 or about $395 a week from April to June, putting the city behind only Sydney and Melbourne for total costs.
However Brisbane was the most expensive mainland capital city when costs were calculated as a share of income at 16.3 per cent, behind only Hobart, where transport costs ate up 16.9 per cent of incomes.
RACQ head of public policy Rebecca Michael said Brisbane's high rankings were less about its increasing costs as falling costs in cities such as Sydney.
She said transport costs were generally one of the biggest burdens on household budgets and called for governments to do more to ease the pressure.
"We are looking for governments to provide relief where they can so some of those costs where they could reduce that burden are around registration and putting downward pressure on fuel costs," Dr Michael said.
"We are looking for the government to put a freeze on registration costs for three years."
The report finds costs for public transport and fuel in Brisbane had risen to the second highest in any capital city.
Fuel rose about $7.39 a week quarter-on-quarter while typical households spent an extra $6.05 a week on car loans in the June quarter.
Typical transport costs in Townsville jumped by $11.71 a week to $269.85.
However the average annual cost of $14,032 made it the second most affordable regional centre.
The AAA found the increase in costs around the country was largely due to rises in car loan payments and fuel.
AAA managing director Michael Bradley said costs had "resumed their rise, largely because of higher fuel prices".
"The cumulative effect of continued high transport costs is a heavy burden at a time when Australians are feeling the cost of living pressures across the board," he said.