In June 2021, the National Transport Commission published its consultation regulation impact statement on options for the 2021 PAYGO determination.
The RIS considers technical options for amending the PAYGO model and updating its inputs. It sets out three implementation options: increasing the heavy vehicle cost base by 16.5 per cent, and two options for increasing charges over a three year determination period.
The ATA submission responds to the questions of key relevance to trucking operators. Most notably, it argues that—
- the PAYGO expenditure template should be amended to require road authority CEOs to certify that the major project expenditure they report is endorsed by an independent infrastructure agency, based on integrated transport planning and includes rest areas and access improvements
- the NTC should not proceed with its preferred option for handling government expenditure on toll roads
- the NTC should not include road user charge exemptions in PAYGO. If it does proceed, it should simplify its modelling and exclude refrigerated trailers
- the CSO discounts in the model should be expanded and retained.
The submission concludes by arguing that charges should increase 2 per cent in 2022-23, followed by a 3 per cent increase in each of 2023-24 and 2024-25.
To maximise certainty for the industry and governments, the legal instruments used to set the charges should cover the whole three year period, not just the first year.
The submission includes legal advice confirming that the Commonwealth transport minister could lawfully issue a road user charge determination covering the whole period.