All diesel heavy vehicles used on public roads should be required to meet one of the three maintenance / test criteria in the Fuel Tax Act to be eligible for fuel tax credits, the ATA has said in this submission to the Government’s vehicle emissions discussion paper.
Currently, heavy vehicles can receive the fuel tax credit if they meet one of four environmental criteria:
- if it was manufactured on or after 1 January 1996;
- the vehicle is registered in an audited maintenance program accredited by the Transport Secretary (such as TruckSafe);
- it has passed a DT80 in service emissions test within the last two years
- the vehicle complies with a maintenance schedule endorsed by the Transport Secretary.
When these criteria were set in place, 61 per cent of trucks registered in Australia were manufactured before 1996, and therefore had to meet one of the other criteria to be eligible. Today, only 33 per cent of the fleet need to meet these criteria.
Given the importance of maintenance to achieving emission standards, the ATA proposes the 1996 threshold should be removed entirely. This would mean that all diesel heavy vehicles used on public roads would need to meet one of the maintenance / test criteria to be eligible for fuel tax credits.
The submission also recommends the Government press for the NHVR to seek accreditation for the NHVAS Maintenance Management Module under the Fuel Tax Act.