Truck registration and fuel costs too high
With truck registration and fuel charges currently very high, it is estimated that trucks and buses will be overcharged $343 million from 2017 to 2018, and the industry wants change.
Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chair Geoff Crouch says that the first step in the Government's road reforms needs to be the reduction of truck overcharging. Crouch made the following statement following the Commonwealth Treasurer's CEDA speech in Canberra on 24 October, coinciding with the release of the Productivity Commission's five year review.
"Trucking operators pay for our use of the road system through a fuel-based road user charge, administered as a reduction in our fuel tax credits and very high registration charges.. Authoritative new figures from the National Transport Commission (NTC)...show that truck and bus operators will be overcharged by $343 million in 2017-18. The overcharging goes back years, and started because the charging model underestimated the number of trucks and buses on the road. In 2015, governments agreed to freeze revenue from truck and bus charges for two years because of the overcharging. In November, transport ministers will consider whether to extend the freeze for another two years. The only approach consistent with the Government’s overall productivity reform agenda is to continue the revenue freeze. It would reduce fuel and registration charges, which would give the hard working businesses in our industry more scope to invest and increase their productivity. Governments can’t expect to put in place road reforms unless they can fix the agreed problems with the existing charging system first." Crouch stated.
According to Crouch, the Government must invest in its road productivity plan by persuading key transport ministers to continue freezing revenue from fuel and registration charges. This would result in a decrease in truck overcharging in 2018, 2019 and 2020.