QUEENSLAND drivers from today will pay the country's highest vehicle registration fees thanks to the State Government's decision to increase the cost by 3.5 per cent.
However Labor state member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders, who voted for the increase, said the cost rise was needed to cover local infrastructure spending.
"We didn't want to put registration fees up and there was a lot of thought and deliberation that went into this," he said.
Mr Saunders said the money raised would go towards financing local projects such as the proposed traffic lights at St Helen's State School.
"I am astounded by the costings which have been done recently and if we held back we couldn't get things done," he said.
"The previous government hadn't put registration fees up for the last three years."
The move will see Queensland drivers hit with up to $23 extra on their annual registration bill and has infuriated motoring group RACQ.
RACQ's public policy executive manager Michael Roth said: "It's just another example of the Queensland government treating motorists as cash cows."
The 3.5% increase is well above any rise needed to adjust for the consumer price index, he said.
The State Government opposition put forward a disallowance motion at the beginning of June to remove the proposed 3.5% increase, how-ever this was rejected.
"I don't like putting prices up ... but we are still the third cheapest in Australia for registration on four cylinder cars," he said.
Vehicle registration price jump
4 cylinders - $328.90 to $340.40
5 or 6 cylinder - $492.30 to $509.50
7 or 8 cylinder - $669.80 to $693.25