LNP slams Bligh over truck rego increases

LNP criticises Bligh Government for increasing truck rego fees, fearing the impact they will have on consumers and industry

LNP slams Bligh over truck rego increases
LNP slams Bligh over truck rego increases
By Brad Gardner | May 24, 2010

The Queensland Opposition has criticised the Bligh Government for increasing truck registration fees, fearing the impact they will have on transport operators and consumers.

Opposition spokeswoman on transport Fiona Simpson claims the 4.2 percent increase from July 1 will add tens of thousands of dollars to operators’ running costs.

"I am aware of one livestock transport company which operates a fleet of 60 heavy vehicles whose annual registration bill will increase by over $180,000," Simpson says.

She says consumers will eventually feel the pinch because the companies will need to pass on the costs increases.

"Ordinary Queenslanders already smarting from increased fuel, registration, licence and utility costs will now be hit with a double whammy when the price of anything moved by road will also increase," Simpson says.

He comments follow claims last week from Toowoomba South MP Mike Horan that the registration fees will force operators to abandon safe combinations such as B-doubles in favour of road trains.

Horan tells ATN the Toowoomba region will be significantly affected because of the number of heavy vehicles that travel through there each day.

"The trucking industry is our lifeblood up here," he says.

"I think it is about time they [the Government] gave the trucking industry a bit of a break."

From July 1, the cost of registering a B-double annually will rise to $15,340 – $4000 more than a double road train and almost $2000 more than a triple road train. Semi-trailer fees will rise to $5612.

"The concern is it will force a lot of people back to using road trains, which aren’t as safe as B-doubles," Horan says of the fees.

Horan says he is particularly concerned of the effect the charges will have on low-income workers and pensioners when costs are passed on because they are already struggling to afford essential items.

"That’s really hitting those people," he says of the charges.

The nation's transport ministers agreed to increase fees due to a 10.7 percent rise in government expenditure on the road network. The fuel excise will also climb an extra 0.9 cents a litre.

The office of Minister for Roads Craig Wallace did not respond to a request for comment before deadline.

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