Australia’s road transport ministers should freeze the road user and registration charges paid by trucking operators in 2015-16, the Chief Executive of the Australian Trucking Association, Christopher Melham, said today.
Mr Melham was releasing the ATA submission to the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) heavy vehicle road user charge annual adjustment process.
“The heavy vehicle industry pays for its use of the roads 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 NTC’s charging model underestimates the number of trucks on the road,” Mr Melham said.
“The NTC recognises that the model is flawed, but Australia’s state and territory transport ministers have not yet implemented the NTC’s options for changing it.
“As a result, the model is still being used to develop flawed heavy vehicle charges, with more than 50,000 heavy vehicles on Australia’s roads missing from the 2015-16 calculations.
“The NTC has recommended a 0.6 per cent increase in heavy vehicle charges. If the increase occurs, the heavy vehicle industry will be overcharged by some $117 million in 2015-16.
“To the Australian Government’s great credit, it unilaterally froze the road user charge last year because of the problems with the NTC model. It should continue to freeze the road user charge in 2015-16, and Australia’s state and territory transport ministers should freeze registration charges for the same period.”
The Australian Government Competition Policy Review, released last month, recommended the Government change the road pricing system and reduce existing indirect road user charges.
“As a first step towards considering this recommendation, governments need to make sure the existing system of fuel and registration charges does not overcharge the industry,” Mr Melham said.
The submission is available at http://www.truck.net.au/advocacy/submissions/ntc-2015-16-heavy-vehicle-charges-annual-adjustment-submission.