25 June 2006

2,000 state charges increase

Today's Sunday Mail reports that almost 2,000 South Australian state charges are set to increase this week. It claims that the Rann government
"denies the large number of charges are being slipped through by stealth, saying they were published in the Government Gazette on June 15." How many people read the Government Gazette?

The full list of increases, compiled by the Sunday Mail with assistance from the Liberal Party, is available by clicking on the link towards the end of the article. The paper reports

According to Opposition figures, some of the steepest hikes include:

REGISTERING a business name – up 234 per cent or $300 to $428.

MOTOR bike training for a learners permit – up 222 per cent, or $200, to $290.

REGISTRATION of one or more pilchard nets – up 24 per cent, or $713, to $3669.

EXAMINATION of a vehicle by an inspector to determine if it has been stolen – up 110 per cent, or $121, to $231.

LICENCE as a security agent or investigation agent – up 63 per cent, or $84, to $218.

Many of the increases are in areas which are the responsibility of Transport Minister Patrick Conlon, who has promised to travel to work by public transport to test claims that the local system is on the verge of collapse, even though he's already formed his opinion about it:

"We will make sure that we are using the current resources properly before we spend extra taxpayers' funds. There are some routes for example that are dramatically under-utilised - and we will have no hesitation in cutting those routes."

There are many inconsistencies (why is the fine for running a red light $128 more than for driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 - 0.08?) and some absurdities, including new public transport "confessional" fares. Is Mr Conlon now mixing his politics and religion?

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