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2016 ATA pre-budget submission

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12 February 2016

The Australian Government should reduce the road user charge on trucking operators in the 2016-17 Budget, the ATA has said in this submission.

The trucking industry pays for its use of the road system through heavy vehicle registration fees and a road user charge on fuel, currently 26.14 cents per litre. The industry has been overcharged since 2007, because the system used to calculate the charges underestimates the number of trucks on the roads.

Last year, governments agreed to freeze their revenue from heavy vehicle charges in response to this problem. But truck and bus operators will still be overtaxed by $250.2 million in 2016-17 and $264.8 million in 2017-18.

This submission recommends that the Government should address its share of the overcharging by reducing the road user charge to 25.9 cents per litre in 2016-17 and 25.3 cents per litre in 2017-18.

The Government should then address the rest of its overcharging by increasing its funding for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and the Bridges Renewal Program by $49.0 million in 2016-17 and $52.1 million in 2017-18.

The submission recommends that the Government should reprioritise existing spending to plan for road pricing reform, including developing defined service standards and an independent economic regulator for road prices.