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Road Freight NSW steps up fight on registration charges

Industry body wants to start a discussion on a new road funding formula


Road Freight NSW has called on the state and federal governments to work with the industry in developing a more effective charging scheme for road users.

General manager Jodie Broadbent says authorities should abandon registration fees for heavy vehicles in favour of a regime that is based more heavily on fuel excise alone.

“The federal government is quite keen to move toward a user-pays system, and we want to be at the discussion table,” she says.

“While tolling or distance of travel may prove the most suitable method for [charging] light vehicles, a fuel-based charging regime for the heavy vehicle sector is both more appropriate and easier to manage from compliance and collection perspectives.

“Importantly for trucking operators, fuel-based charging would also be much easier to calculate and pass on to customers, reducing red tape and aiding business viability.”

Fuel based charging is also fairer on businesses that undertake fewer kilometres and therefore have less impact on roads, she says – citing the example of driver training business in NSW.

“They need a B-double to train new drivers, but might only do 5,000 kilometres in it per year,” she says.

“At present, the business would pay up to $25,000 to register their truck – the same as a truck doing hundreds of thousands of kilometres each year.”

Broadbent says the industry is keen to pay its way, but wants to find a fair alternative to the current registration charge that most stakeholders acknowledge as flawed. “It has resulted in over-recovery since 2007.”

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