Calls for comment on A-trailer charges

By: Greg Bush


The National Transport Commission is inviting comment before January 30 on A-trailer charging options

December 19, 2011

A-trailer charges could be as much as halved under proposed changes to heavy vehicle charges released on December 19 by the National Transport Commission (NTC) for public consultation.

The Heavy Vehicle Charges Issues Consultation Paper outlines four different options for resolving the issues industry is currently experiencing with A-trailer charges.

NTC Chief Executive Nick Dimopoulos says the options have been developed following extensive industry consultation and are based on national policy and sound research.

"We take the concerns that industry have raised with us very seriously," Dimopoulos says.

"We’re keen to ensure that the charging model that is in place doesn’t penalise industry for using safer and more efficient vehicles such as B-triples.

"We’ve drawn on the best available research when developing this options paper, which has given us access to more accurate information about road wear than ever before.

"Importantly, we’ve ensured we’ve assessed every option to determine whether it can be implemented quickly in accordance with requests from industry."

At the November 2011 meeting of the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI), Ministers requested that the NTC investigate options for addressing A-trailer pricing issues for their consideration in February 2012.

The NTC consultation paper rigorously assesses each option against the following objectives: quick implementation time; impact on national consistency; whether it encourages the use of safer and more productive vehicles; whether it adheres to the pricing principles established by the Council of Australian Governments and the Australian Transport Council (now SCOTI); and impact on government revenue.

The NTC’s consultation paper also includes options for calculating the annual adjustment.

"Australia has experienced a number of natural disasters that have required significant amounts of additional government road expenditure over the last couple of years. We’re recommending that this cost isn’t passed onto industry as part of the annual adjustment," Dimopoulos says.

The NTC invites submissions on the paper by January 30, 2012 to ensure the NTC meets the deadline set by SCOTI.

"We’re meeting with governments and industry over the next 6 weeks to seek feedback on the consultation paper," Dimopoulos says.

"The paper is still at a preliminary stage and we welcome submissions."

The NTC consultation paper is available on the NTC website (www.ntc.gov.au).

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