Spend road, rail revenue on supply chain: ALC

Revenue generated from transport should not automatically be funnelled back into where it came from, ALC argues

By Brad Gardner

Revenue generated from transport should not automatically be funnelled back into where it came from, according to the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).

ALC Chief Executive Hal Morris has told a senate inquiry the road user charge should not be spent exclusively on road transport.

He wants the Government to invest any revenue in the supply chain rather than individual road networks.

He also says revenue from rail charges should not automatically be spent on rail.

"I would suggest that after collection of the money that there is the opportunity to say that we will not just put it back into road or back into rail. We will put it back into the most important investment that we can make right across the whole supply chain, both domestically and internationally," he says.

Morris supports the fuel charge being indexed according to CPI, but wants annual government-industry meetings if any plans are made to increase the charge outside of that.

Morris also pledged support for an increase in the charge from 19.63 cents to 21 cents to reflect the amount of funds being invested in infrastructure.

"We agree with that. We believe that it should move forward as quickly as possible," he says.

The ALC is backing greater resource allocation to rail investment, with Morris saying there has been underinvestment in the mode over the last 40 or 50 years.

He pointed to the north-south inland rail link as a specific example.

"The north-south inland rail link is a high priority because we do not believe that it is going to be possible to continue to keep pace just using road with the increased requirement for freight logistics in this country," Morris says.

The Senate is currently conducting an inquiry into the Interstate Road Transport Charge Amendment Bill and the Road Charges Legislation Repeal and Amendment Bill.

The first bill aims to allow the ACT to increase registration charges. If passed, the second bill will give the Government the power to index the fuel charge by regulation.

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