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ATA blasts Austroads over ageing truck registration proposal

Emissions class registration scheme seen as harsh impost on owners


Governments must reject an ‘outrageous proposal’ to alter truck registration charges, which could see increases by up to 220 per cent, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) demands.

The call is in response to a report by Austroads, the the peak organisation of state and territory road transport agencies, which analyses the impact of an ageing truck fleet in Australia and New Zealand.

Vehicle registration fees differentiated by emissions class is one of the policy ideas put forth by Austroads, admitting the ‘aged-truck problem is difficult to overcome with equitable and effective measures’.

That is not good enough for the ATA, CEO Andrew McKellar says.

“The Austroads report says that those operating an older truck could be forced to pay up to $20,000 in registration charges per truck per year – that’s a brutal 220 per cent increase from the current registration fee of $6,225 for a prime mover and semi-trailer,” McKellar says. 

“Amidst the challenges of Covid-19 and the bushfires, the trucking industry has been on the frontline, working hard to get Australians back on their feet and communities supplied.  

“And yet here we are, with an increase in charges that would hit about 400,000 heavy vehicles. 147,000 heavy vehicles would be hit with the full 220 per cent increase.  

“In total, the proposal would affect more than half of Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet.  

“Hardworking small and family trucking businesses would be pushed right out of business and into financial hardship because they simply could not afford to keep their trucks on the road,” McKellar says. 

The ATA has been at odds with other associations on road user charge hikes

The ATA points to its own ideas as better ways of encouraging trucking operators to upgrade to newer, safer trucks. 

“Last year, the ATA strongly argued for measures to help trucking businesses buy new equipment, which ultimately resulted in the Instant Asset Write Off and temporary full expensing,” McKellar says. 

“As a result of these measures, trucking businesses are lining up to buy new trucks.  

“Instead of punishing businesses, we need to see more action from government to remove barriers to new vehicles, such as amending the truck dimension and weight rules and providing a temporary zero emission truck purchase incentive.”


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