CRRP review came into being on the recommendations of the Productivity Commission, which implied that the current pricing system needed reforming in order to make a more efficient and productive road supply. However, we believe that COAG’s first reform should be of the supply side agencies that deal with road provision and providing more access. We believe if the government can reform this important role in road provision, the heavy vehicle industry can improve its capability for efficiency and productivity.
CRRP has also made it quite clear that it is in favour of distance-mass-location (MDL) charging regardless of evidence presented, what the industry proposes or what its research suggests.
The ATA sees little evidence that changing the system of road pricing will combat supply side issues and will increase the productive capacity of the heavy vehicle fleet.
There are doubts that supply side concerns have been addressed sufficiently by the road pricing reform, which affects the productivity of the fleet.
The ATA has pushed to rationalise regulation and to make government bodies serve constituents and the industry to the appropriate standard expected. The ATA has constantly come up against difficulties surrounding CRRP data, CRRP progress and even a lack of CRRP consensus.
The ATA disagrees with the rushed nature of CRRP process; deadlines are being set at the expense of real progress.
Three departments are currently working on road pricing reform; the Productivity Commission, CRRP and the Henry Review. The fact the process isn’t unique causes concern as there is little convergence or sharing or expertise on the matter. Each of these government entities should work together as a single body. Instead, there is a situation where there appears to be no coordination of information and no real desire to have consensus with the industry.
Conflicts of interest are apparent, with road agencies using CRRP to promote IAP. The reluctance to reform road supply is a prominent example of failure to look at the real issues surrounding road agency performance.
While MDL charging shows a desire to make prices closely aligned to road wear, reality will not reflect this because the MDL model is incomplete, poorly founded and lacks any industry backing.
In conclusion, the ATA fails to see how a partial, regressive and expensive system such as MDL charging would not have adverse affects on the industry. While at the same time, no more discipline is indicated for supply side reforms.