SCOTI supports increase to heavy vehicle charges

Governments agree to NTC proposal to increase heavy vehicle charges by 2.5 percent on July 1

SCOTI supports increase to heavy vehicle charges
SCOTI backs increase to truck charges
By Brad Gardner | May 10, 2013

Australia’s transport ministers have backed a National Transport Commission (NTC) proposal to increase heavy vehicle charges by 2.5 percent on July 1.

Meeting today as part of the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI), ministers agreed to increase registration fees and the fuel excise.

The price rise will add an extra 0.64 cents per litre to the excise, reducing the trucking industry’s fuel tax credit to 12 cents per litre.

The increase is due to account for government expenditure on the road network.

Queensland abstained from today’s vote on the charges because Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson was absent.

SCOTI also voted in favour of the development of detailed work on options to reform the existing charging system.

The NTC earlier this year released a review of the system and outlined possible improvements to it, including axle charging and fuel-based charges.

The communiqué from today’s SCOTI meeting says a final decision on the preferred option is expected to be made early next year, with the change to apply from the middle of 2014.

"The [National Transport] Commission consulted closely with industry and stakeholders in the conduct of the review, and this close consultation will continue as the detailed options are prepared for consideration by the Council," the communiqué states.

Changes canvassed in the review are designed as a short-term fix until the work of the Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment (HVCI) group is implemented.

The HVCI is examining a new charging framework, including the possibility of mass-distance-location pricing.

Ministers agreed at today’s meeting industry needed to be involved in the development of a package of reform options for public consultation.

"As a result, recommendations from the Council on the options will be provided to COAG in July 2014," the communiqué states.

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