Road fund­ing re­forms

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

THE buck needs to stop at the pump. Lit­er­ally.

That was the warn­ing from Ge­off Crouch as the Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (ATA) chair­man came out swing­ing over the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment’s road fund­ing re­forms.

Mr Crouch, read­ing fig­ures from the Na­tional Trans­port Com­mis­sion, said truck and bus op­er­a­tors would be over­charged by a whop­ping $343 mil­lion due to fuel and regis­tra­tion charges in 2017–18.

“The over­charg­ing goes back years, and started be­cause the charg­ing model un­der­es­ti­mated the num­ber of trucks and buses on the road,” Mr Crouch said.

“Truck­ing op­er­a­tors pay for our use of the road sys­tem through a fuel based road user charge, ad­min­is­tered as a re­duc­tion in our fuel tax cred­its, and very high regis­tra­tion charges.

“Th­ese charges seek to re­cover the cost of the road ex­pen­di­ture that is due to trucks and buses.”

In­stead, the ATA would like to see a rev­enue freeze, agreed upon in 2015, to be ex­tended into the near fu­ture.

“The only ap­proach con­sis­tent with the Gov­ern­ment’s over­all pro­duc­tiv­ity re­form agenda is to con­tinue the rev­enue freeze,” Mr Crouch said.

“Con­tin­u­ing the rev­enue freeze would re­duce the over­charg­ing to $148.8 mil­lion in 2018–19.

“It would re­duce fuel and regis­tra­tion charges, which would give the hard work­ing busi­nesses in our in­dus­try more scope to in­vest and in­crease their pro­duc­tiv­ity.”

It is also the only ap­proach that sup­ports the Gov­ern­ment’s broader road re­form aims.

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