NRMA: Govt should return fuel excise to roads

THE NRMA has called on the Australian government to return at least half of the fuel excise tax it collects to local councils to help clear the roads maintenance backlog in western Sydney, including a $53.5 million backlog in Parramatta.

The NRMA released a report, Funding Local Roads, which highlighted a $340 million funding backlog which it said must be addressed to bring western Sydney's roads up to a "satisfactory condition".

The report used figures submitted by nine western Sydney councils to the NSW government as part of annual reporting obligations that summarised the money required to fix local roads.

The councils that needed the most funds were Liverpool at $149.6 million, Parramatta at $53.5 million, Penrith at $49.5 million, Fairfield at $26 million and Bankstown at $25.3 million.

NRMA local director David Bentham said some councils would take years to clear their roadworks backlogs at current funding levels.

"Billions are being spent on the M4 and M5, however when drivers get off these roads, they deserve to drive on good standard roads in the suburbs," Mr Bentham said.

"Pot holes, repainting faded lines and gutters are just some of the basics that money is needed for."

Currently, $15 billion is collected by the Australian government from the fuel excise levy at a rate of 38.143 cents per litre for fuel purchases. Only 10 cents out of 38.143 cents collected is returned to roads.

"We are calling on the Australian government to return at least half of the fuel excise tax collected into road funding."