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Victorian Liberals call on government to rule out Port of Melbourne truck tax

The state opposition says the government must immediately drop the proposed Port of Melbourne truck tax

The Victorian Liberal party has responded to rumours that the Victorian government is considering imposing a Port of Melbourne truck tax.

Yesterday, The Weekly Times unveiled that the state government has signed off on a new tiered truck tax to help subsidise rail freight movements, with containers to be charged between $150 to $250.

In response, the Liberal party says the government must rule out imposing a truck tax at the Port of Melbourne to subsidise rail freight.

“Documents from the Department of Transport and Planning reveal a road freight tax is being actively considered for trucks loading and unloading at the Port of Melbourne to make the cost of road freight more expensive, and thus making rail freight more competitive, despite one container terminal not even having rail access,” the Liberals say.

“Due to Labor’s failure to deliver the Murray Basin Freight Rail Network and upgrades desperately needed in other corridors, the cost of freight by rail has remained high and uncompetitive.

“Worse still, only part of the proposed tax is to be spent on upgrading the rail freight network, with most simply being returned to consolidated revenue to cover some of the more than $30 billion in cost blowouts on Labor’s major projects.”

Victorian shadow ports and freight minister Roma Britnell says the government must immediately rule out the tax.

“Instead of making rail more competitive by investing in it, this will simply make road freight more expensive and is no solution to Labor’s long neglect of Victoria’s rail freight network,” Britnell says.

“Labor should fix the rail freight network in order to bring costs down rather than impose a sneaky tax that will do little to improve freight route efficiency and will be passed on to Victorian families who will pay more for goods.”

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