Fuel and rego hikes determined by majority vote

By: Jason Whittaker


The National Transport Commission’s (NTC) proposed registration and fuel increases will apply to all states even if almost half of

The National Transport Commission’s (NTC) proposed registration and fuel increases will apply to all states even if almost half of the transport ministers vote against their implementation.

As part of the Australian Transport Council (ATC), state and territory ministers as well as the federal minister agree to introduce a proposal so long as a simple majority approve it.

In other words, even if four of the nine transport ministers vote against raising registration costs they would still have to implement them in their respective states.

The majority vote falls under the Inter-Governmental Agreement, a framework set up to implement regulatory reform in the transport industry. The agreement was approved by the various state, territory and federal governments.

"Under the IGA (Inter-Governmental Agreement) they agree to implement the national decision," NTC General Manager of Communications, IT and Stakeholder Relations Paul Sullivan says.

According to the Agreement, ministers must use their "best endeavours to implement and maintain" agreed reforms. Only in "exceptional circumstances", such as "policy or practical constraints", can a minister reject a reform agreed to by majority vote.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has been vocal in its opposition to the proposed increase in registration and fuel charges and, along with its state divisions as well as industry bodies, has raised concerns about the potential inflationary impact the proposals could have.

The NTC, however, argues the increase in costs is necessary to recoup road use charges as there has been a 30 percent increase in government expenditure on roads since 2000.

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