Higher rego charges delayed

Federal Government to delay higher rego charges, with at least one state government considering a similar move

Higher rego charges delayed
Higher rego charges delayed
By Michael House

The Federal Government will delay higher heavy vehicle charges, with NSW also questioning whether to increase registration fees from July.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese has confirmed the increase for vehicles under the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS) will not take effect from July.

"New registration charges for heavy vehicles covered under the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme will come into effect on the August 18 2009," the spokesman says.

"[The] timing of the increase was determined by the passage of the legislation and regulations through the parliament and the need to give heavy vehicle operators sufficient notice of the new charges."

NSW Minister for Roads Michael Daley is also holding discussions with industry groups to determine whether to delay charges for state-based operators.

"The Minster is currently consulting with industry stakeholders to ensure we get the balance right and don’t charge the industry more than we need to," a spokesman for Daley says.

"The industry has raised legitimate concerns about the implementation of the new charges and the Minster is currently reviewing a range of options to ensure they are fair and balanced."

Queensland, however, is set to push ahead with higher charges from July 1, with a spokesman for the Department of Main Roads saying there was a national agreement to do so.

"At this stage we are proceeding in line with the national agreement," a spokesman for Main Roads says.

ATN is awaiting comment from the Victorian Government over whether it intends on delaying the increase.

The trucking industry may also be hit with a 0.7 cent increase to the road user charge, which will cut the fuel tax credit to 16.4 cents. The National Transport Commission (NTC) says the industry needs to pay more because there has been increased investment in the road network.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has echoed the NTC’s claims, but the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) says the increases should be scrapped because the industry is already struggling due to the global economic downturn.

The Coalition has also hinted at using its numbers in the Senate to block the increase, with opposition spokesman on transport Warren Truss saying the Government must invest more in rest areas if it wants the Coalition’s support.

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