Pallas says trucking’s not paying its way
VICTORIAN TREASURER Tim Pallas has rejected the trucking industry’s position that it overcompensates for the use and building of road infrastructure.
The assertion comes as Lindsay Fox and Pallas have taken to mainstream media over the state government’s truck-centric tolling strategy.
In an ongoing argument over toll increases of up to 125 per cent on Melbourne’s Transurban-run CityLink route, Linfox founder Fox argues “residential streets should remain residential” and not be subject to truck traffic, but this must be supported by upgrades to Victorian infrastructure.
“If the roads are working properly and the infrastructure is right, then you shouldn’t have trucks in residential areas,” Fox says.
“CityLink wants us to pay when the road isn’t complete and our productivity is down by 20 per cent. That’s putting the cart before the horse.
“We’re at least 20 per cent slower today on CityLink.
“Why should we pay for a road that’s not going to be complete for 12 months?”
The CityLink increase is attributed to the cost of the $1.28 billion CityLink/Tullamarine Freeway widening project.
The CityLink Tulla Widening project is due for completion on an undisclosed date in 2018.
The new attack brought state treasurer Pallas, a former roads minister, on to Neil Mitchell’s 3AW talkback show.
There, he claimed motorists subsidised infrastructure for trucks, given they are four times the size and 37 times heavier than cars and contribute more to on-road breakdowns, and that the Victorian industry was being brought into line with costs in other states. The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) rejects Pallas’ position.
“The independent government body that makes recommendations on road pricing, the National Transport Commission, has concluded that truck and bus operators will be overcharged by $515 million nationally in 2016-17 and 2017-18,” ATA chair Noelene Watson says.