NTC proposes changes to heavy vehicle charging

Retter is calling for industry and government feedback on the proposed nine suggestions

NTC proposes changes to heavy vehicle charging
NTC chief executive Paul Retter.


National Transport Commission (NTC) chief executive Paul Retter is calling on the industry stakeholders to submit their feedback on its proposed options to improve the current 'pay as you go' (PAYGO) methodology.

Last week, the NTC released a discussion paper that highlights options to improve the existing method of setting heavy vehicle charges and better balancing these charges with government revenues.

The paper, which was prepared in response to a Transport and Infrastructure Council (the Council) request, includes nine options:

  • Adopting a ‘life cycle’ approach using forward looking costs
  • Adopt a Forward Looking Cost Base using forecast budgets (financial costs)
  • Ring-fencing heavy vehicle charges revenue
  • Introduce an ‘unders and overs’ account
  • Turn heavy vehicle charge into a tax
  • Continue freezing revenues
  • Re-examine the heavy vehicle cost base allocators
  • Re-examine the amount of local government expenditure excluded from the PAYGO cost base
  • Change the heavy vehicle charge setting process: independent price regulation

"The nine options identified in the discussion paper seek to resolve some of the limitations of the current ‘pay as you go’ (PAYGO) system for heavy vehicle charges," NTC chief executive Paul Retter says.

"We welcome stakeholders’ views on the options, their compatibility with each other and the criteria for each of them."

The NTC states that the use of fuel-based road user charges (RUC) and annual vehicle registration charges to recover the identified costs from heavy vehicle operators will remain unchanged.

Submissions can be lodged until July 27, following which the NTC will consolidate the feedback to create its final recommendations to the Transport and Infrastructure Senior Officials’ Committee (TISOC) and the Council later this year.

NTC plans to will present its recommendations for the transport ministers’ consideration in November this year.

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