Trailer Magazine

Heavy Vehicle charge freeze continues

  • Posted on Thursday 16th, November 2017.

The 8th meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Council has agreed to freeze heavy vehicle charges at 2017-18 levels for a further two years in a decision that has 'bitterly disappointed' some transport associations.

According to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), maintaining the freeze for 2018-19 and 2019-20 will result in the transport industry being overtaxed by $189.5 million next financial year.

ATA Chair, Geoff Crouch, said the decision continued the outrageous overcharging of truck and bus operators.

“Governments had two options for dealing with heavy vehicle charges. They could have continued a two year freeze on charging revenue, which would have helped our industry by reducing charge rates…instead decided to leave charge rates where they are now, resulting in a $189.5 million windfall gain for general government revenue," Crouch said.

According to the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters' Association (ALRTA), the National Transport Commission (NTC) discovered flaws in the PAYGO model in 2014 and recommended that Ministers decrease registration charges by 6.3 per cent and the fuel levy by 1.14c/l from 1 July 2014.

Instead, Ministers agreed to freeze total charges for the past four years to allow revenue and expenditure to realign.

“Now that a realignment of revenue and expenditure is finally within reach, Ministers have subtly changed the nature of the charging freeze to increase the amount of revenue over-recovered by $41m compared with a continuation of the current freeze,” said ALRTA National President, Kevin Keenan.

The Transport and Infrastructure Council includes Transport, Infrastructure and Planning Ministers from the Commonwealth, States and Territories, New Zealand and the Australian Local Government Association. State and Territory Police were also in attendance.

Industry representatives from Australasian Railway Association, Australian Automobile Association, ALRTA, Australian Logistics Council, ATA, Bus Industry Confederation, Ports Australia and Truck Industry Council also attended as observers of the meeting.

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