Industry raises more gripes with A-trailer fees

Industry uses meeting on A-trailer registration fees to raise more concerns, but government says "appropriate level of charging" must apply

August 4, 2011

The trucking industry has used its first meeting with policy makers on A-trailer registration fees to raise more concerns, but government is adamant that an "appropriate level of charging" must apply.

A working group made up of representatives from the National Transport Commission, the trucking industry and road transport agencies held its first meeting last month.

The group was established to respond to industry complaints over high A-trailer fees, which have skyrocketed in recent years due to changes in heavy vehicle registration charges.

A statement from the NTC says the group discussed issues previously canvassed by the industry, such as the effect the fees have on cash flow and operators’ inability to recoup the costs from customers.

The annual registration fee has shot to beyond $6,000, which the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says discourages operators from using B-doubles. The industry has also complained of the difficulty in competing with road trains when using B-doubles and B-triples.

In its statement, the NTC says: "some further issues were identified, including concern that the charge has resulted in a reduction in the resale value of A-trailers and that governments are keen to ensure there is an appropriate level of charging for those using b-triples relative to road trains."

The NTC says the group’s members will look at potential solutions to the issues raised and will present the findings at the next meeting to be held this month.

Following a concerted campaign from the likes of the ATA and the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA), the NTC investigated the matter in May and June before announcing the formation of a working group.

It will deliver a review of A-trailer fees along with recommendations to transport ministers in November.

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