Regional Australia to suffer most from fuel hike: Williams

Nationals senator says regional Australia will suffer most from planned increases to the fuel excise

By Brad Gardner | May 10, 2012

Nationals Senator John Williams has hit out at planned increases to the fuel excise, claiming regional Australia will hardest hit when the price hikes take effect.

The Federal Government will increase the excise by 2.4 cents per litre on July 1, reducing the trucking industry’s fuel tax credit to 12.6 cents per litre.

The change is expected to cost the industry $698 million over four years, and the government plans to deduct another 6.85 cents per litre on July 1, 2014 as part of the carbon tax.

"Of course, regional Australia will be the worst affected by this. The town where I live does not have a railway line," Williams says.

"Everything comes in on the road. All our exports, our cattle from abattoirs and our wheat all go out on the road. It is a tax on regional Australia especially."

Opposition spokesman on transport Warren Truss in April threatened to move a disallowance motion to block the increase to the excise.

He claims the charge, along with higher registration fees, will overcharge the industry by $700 million.

Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chairman David Simon wants the government to reconsider or defer the 2.4 cent increase when transport ministers meet on May 18 as part of the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI).

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