MP joins trucking in push for fuel-based charging

The trucking industry has won support from Katter's Australian Party for fuel-based charging for heavy vehicles

By Brad Gardner | February 15, 2013

The trucking industry has won the backing of Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) for a switch to fuel-based charging for heavy vehicles.

While policy makers have expressed interest in adopting mass-distance-location pricing for trucks, KAP leader Ray Hopper says fuel charging is a fair option because operators that rack up substantial kilometres will pay more than their low-mileage counterparts.

During debate in Queensland Parliament on amendments to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), Hopper asked the State Government to adopt the system or at least investigate its worth.

"The fuel issue…is seriously worth looking at because there are some haulage companies that do not do a lot of miles but still pay high registration. That would be a much fairer system to adopt," he says.

"It is preferable to adopt a fuel based registration charge which will bring down the cost of the current registration and the high-end user will pay for the amount used."

Hopper claims mass-distance-location pricing, which will bill trucks based on the weight they are carrying, the roads they are using the distance they travel, could pose a fatigue risk to truck drivers.

"[It] will result in higher charges to use roads during peak-hour traffic, which could lead to more driver fatigue as drivers endeavour to avoid peak traffic hours for deliveries," he says.

Governments are currently investigating a new charging framework to replace the existing system built on registration fees and fuel excise.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has supported fuel charging, but claims mass-distance-location pricing could impose a significant financial burden on operators.

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