Queensland to raise truck charges from July 1

Bligh Government ignores calls to hold fire on new truck registration fees, saying they are necessary to cover road damage

Queensland to raise truck charges from July 1
Queensland to raise truck charges from July 1
By Brad Gardner | May 25, 2010

The Queensland Government has ignored calls to hold fire on massive increases to truck registration fees, saying they are necessary to fund investment in the road network.

Similar to other jurisdictions, the Bligh Government will lift registration fees by 4.2 percent from July 1. The cost of a B-double will rise to $15,340, while semi-trailer fees will increase by more than $300 to $5612.

The Opposition has refused to back the increases over concerns of the effect they will have on the industry and consumers.

"Like all other Australian states and territories, the Department of Transport and Main Roads is adjusting its heavy vehicle registration charges on 1 July 2010 in line with national reforms," a spokesperson for Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says.

"The charges are adjusted to ensure that heavy vehicles pay for the cost of damage that they do to the nation’s roads."

But opposition spokeswoman on transport Fiona Simpson questions whether the industry will get a return from the increases.

"I don’t think it is being put back into roads. There seems to be a lot of price gouging from government but not a lot in return," Simpson says.

According to the National Transport Commission, the 4.2 percent rise is necessary due to a 10.7 percent increase in government expenditure on the road network.

Simpson says the increase is too much and smaller operators, unlike larger carriers, will struggle to spread the cost.

"We don't support this level of increase. It is not in alignment with what people can afford," she says.

Toowoomba South MP Mike Horan claims the increases will force operators to abandon safe vehicles such as B-doubles in favour of road trains because they are cheaper.

"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.

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