Union baulks at LNP plan to raise truck rego

LNP faces backlash over proposal to increase truck rego fees in return for freezing charges on privately-owned cars

March 6, 2012

Potential Queensland premier Campbell Newman is facing a backlash over a proposal to increase heavy vehicle registration fees in return for freezing charges on privately-owned cars.

Queensland Transport Workers Union Secretary Peter Biagini leapt on a report confirming the trucking industry will pay to fund Newman’s plan to halt registration increases for vehicles under four tonnes for three years.

While the Liberal National Party (LNP) has not formally unveiled how it will fund the scheme, The Courier Mail reported that motorcyclists, heavy vehicles and utes will all be stung with price increases.

"The LNP’s plan to fund a registration freeze on small private vehicles by slugging truck drivers is a dog of a policy," Biagini says.

"This is a disappointing policy, developed with no consultation, and we are planning to seek an urgent meeting with Campbell Newman or his representatives to outline our concerns."

State-specific changes to heavy vehicle registration fees will put Queensland at odds with the nationally-agreed approach to heavy vehicle charges.

Biagini labelled Newman’s plan "idiotic" and one that "will have a disastrous effect on our economy".

Trucking operators – particularly those operating B-doubles and B-triples – are already paying hefty fees that have risen significantly in the past few years.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) recently completed its work on a new heavy vehicle charging scheme due to be voted on by Australia’s transport ministers. The plan proposes reducing charges for B-doubles and B-triples in return for increasing prices elsewhere.

"A quarter of owner-drivers are only taking home $30,000 a year. The struggle to keep their businesses afloat while supporting their families is something Campbell Newman clearly does not understand," Biagini says.

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