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ATA calls on government to fix truck overcharging

Heavy vehicles to be overcharged $343 million between 2017 and 2018, and the industry wants change


The first step in the federal government’s road funding reforms needs to be fixing truck overcharging, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) chair Geoff Crouch says.

Truck fuel and registration charges are too high, amounting to millions of dollars of overcharging each month.

Crouch says the government must make a down-payment on its road productivity plan by urging transport ministers to continue freezing revenue from fuel and registration charges.

This would mean that fuel and registration charges would decrease in 2018-19 and 2019-20 – a great win for the road transport industry.

“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,” Crouch says.

“These charges seek to recover the cost of the road expenditure that is due to trucks and buses.

“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.

“Continuing the revenue freeze would reduce the overcharging to $148.8 million in 2018-19.

“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.

“It is also the only approach that supports the Government’s broader road reform aims.

“Governments can’t expect to put in place road reforms unless they can fix the agreed problems with the existing charging system first.”

Crouch spoke up following the Commonwealth Treasurer’s CEDA speech in Canberra today, which marked the release of the Productivity Commission’s five year productivity review.

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