NSW won't budge on heavy vehicle charges


NSW won't reconsider heavy vehicle charges but flags the possibility of assistance for small to medium sized operators

NSW won't budge on heavy vehicle charges
NSW won't budge on truck charges

By Brad Gardner | April 24, 2012

The NSW Government has refused to reconsider its decision to introduce significant increases to heavy vehicle charges but has flagged the possibility of assistance for small to medium operators.

A spokesman for Roads Minister Duncan Gay says the government supports the charges passed during the March meeting of the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI).

A majority of governments voted in favour of registration increases of more than 20 percent in some cases and a reduction in the fuel tax credit of 2.4 cents per litre from July 1.

The trucking lobby is trying to get transport ministers to reassess their decision on charges when SCOTI next meets in May but when asked if NSW would rethink its stance, the spokesman responded: "No."

"The NSW Government does, however, recognise there are industry concerns over the potential impact of the proposed heavy vehicle charges on small to medium size operators," he says.

"As such, the NSW Government is in the process of considering options to assist small and medium sized operators affected by the proposed changes."

The spokesman declined to detail what options the government is considering.

Western Australia and the Northern Territory stood together in opposing the charges at the March meeting, opting instead to introduce considerably lower fees.

The trucking industry is furiously lobbying other transport ministers for a better deal, with the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) calling on governments to follow the Northern Territory’s lead.

It limited increases to 3.7 percent and will delay them until January 1 next year. The Territory also decided to lower the price of A-trailers to match that of a semi-trailer.

South Australia Transport Minister Patrick Conlon has agreed to take the industry’s concerns over the high increases to road train fees to the May SCOTI meeting. The price of registering double and triple road trains is due to rise by more than 21 percent.

The spokesman for Gay says the latest rounds of heavy vehicle charges, recommended by the National Transport Commission (NTC), fund a reduction in A-trailer fees.

"Further, NTC has also identified an expected under-recovery nationally in 2012-13 of $144 million on the basis that the annual adjustment formula has not been recouping the full heavy vehicle share of road costs since 2009," the spokesman says.

The cost of a tri-axle A-trailer, in most states, will fall from $6525 to $3300 from July 1, with a tandem-axle A-tailer going from $6195 to $3150.

Queensland did not vote on the new charges because the SCOTI meeting fell during the state’s election campaign. The Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) is due to meet with new Transport Minister Scott Emerson to push the industry’s case for lower charges.

ATN has sought comment from Emerson.

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