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Industry to finally get hold of charging model

Trucking industry to get access to heavy vehicle charging model, as SCOTI tasks NTC with reviewing charging system

By Brad Gardner | May 21, 2012

The trucking industry will finally be given access to the heavy vehicle charging model, while the National Transport Commission (NTC) has been tasked with reviewing the charging system.

The Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI), which brings together the nation’s transport ministers, agreed late last week to improve the transparency of the charging process.

Industry groups have long fought for access to the formula used to determine charges, but have previously been denied at every turn. A government refusal to hand over the formula has caused distrust of the charging process and led to claims of operators being overcharged.

The communiqué from the SCOTI meeting says the model will be released in a user friendly format “for industry to improve the transparency of the current charging arrangements and maximise the opportunity for industry engagement in reforms to the national system of charges”.

“Ministers further agreed that the National Transport Commission complete a comprehensive review of the heavy vehicle charging system, including the balance of charging mechanisms and a review of the assumptions and methodologies used to determine charges to ensure they are practical and fair,” the communiqué says.

“This review is to be completed by mid-2013.”

The NTC was this year accused of using outdated figures when calculating the latest round of charges, which will increase registration fees by more than 20 percent in some cases and add another 2.4 cents-per-litre to the fuel excise.

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) was one of the most vocal critics of the charging process and recently claimed governments would take more than justified from road train operators.

Earlier this month the group claimed governments would overcharge double road train operators by as much as 65 percent.

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