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ATA submission to the Productivity Review

22 December 2016

Productivity reforms to road freight and greater use of High Productivity Vehicles (HPVs) are critical reforms for a more prosperous economy, as outlined in the ATA submission to the Productivity Review.

Road freight is critical to the economy and productivity reforms in the sector can deliver significant gains to the wider economy. Increasing the use of HPVs can move more freight on less trucks, delivering productivity gains in the road freight sector.

The submission recommends that the Australian Government should adopt a leadership role in encouraging the uptake of HPVs and develop a plan to remove regulatory and infrastructure impediments to HPV use. Reforms should improve the efficiency and road access of the PBS scheme, and permit based access for HPV A-double combinations should progress to gazetted routes that are open for business, including on the Hume and Pacific corridors.

Governments should also focus on lowering regulatory burdens for trucking businesses, including through the development of the national registration scheme for heavy vehicles. It is also vital that new unnecessary burdens, such as operator licensing, are not introduced.

The submission also recommends reforms to heavy vehicle charges and road supply investment. The Government should continue to transition to independent heavy vehicle price regulation by 2017-18, with improvements to the charges model. Revenue from road user charges should then be put into specific road funds where governments set funding priorities, but not specific projects, to separate long term infrastructure decisions from the budgetary and electoral cycles.