The trucking industry welcomes the Australian Government’s commitment to consult on options for an independent price regulator for heavy vehicle charging, the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Noelene Watson, said today.
The commitment is in the Australian Government’s response to Infrastructure Australia’s Australian Infrastructure Plan.
“Trucking operators are overcharged for our use of the roads, with the National Transport Commission finding that truck and bus operators will be overcharged by $515 million over the next two years,” Mrs Watson said.
“Establishing an independent price regulator is a critical reform that should be progressed with urgency.
“The Government has previously committed to transition to independent heavy vehicle price regulation by 2017-18, and the trucking industry strongly encourages the Government to maintain this schedule.
“The independent price regulator should be set up so transport ministers can set legally binding pricing rules in accordance with legislated pricing and consultation principles. Ministers must not have the power to override or review pricing determinations, and there must be merits-based appeals to the Australian Competition Tribunal.
“We look forward to taking up Minister Fletcher’s commitment of extensive consultation with the industry.”
Mrs Watson said independent price regulation and the reform of heavy vehicle charging was also dependent on supply side reform.
“In shifting to a forward looking cost base for heavy vehicle charging, it is critical that the model includes regular audits of the cost of maintaining and building roads,” she said.
“If trucking operators are to pay for forecast expenditure, it needs to be transparent and accountable.”
The ATA has provided the National Transport Commission and the Government with a rigorous submission setting out a possible architecture for independent price regulation.
Read the submission.
Media contact: Donna Jeremiah/Anne Nguyen 02 6253 6900 / 0417 211 441
24 November 2016