Fuel-based charging needed for trucks: Road Freight NSW


Industry body wants to start a discussion on a new road funding formula

Fuel-based charging needed for trucks: Road Freight NSW
Road Freight NSW general manager Jodie Broadbent.

 

The New South Wales trucking lobby is supporting changes to heavy vehicle charges, but it opposes the plan put forward by South Australia premier Jay Weatherill.

Road Freight NSW has called on the state and federal governments to work with the industry in developing a fuel-based charging scheme for road users.

Weatherill recently called for a mass-distance-location charging system, but Road Freight NSW general manager Jodie Broadbent says governments should favour a regime based more heavily on fuel excise alone.

"The Federal Government is quite keen to move toward a user-pays system, and we want to be at the discussion table," she says.

"While tolling or distance of travel may prove the most suitable method for [charging] light vehicles, a fuel-based charging regime for the heavy vehicle sector is both more appropriate and easier to manage from compliance and collection perspectives.

"Importantly for trucking operators, fuel-based charging would also be much easier to calculate and pass on to customers, reducing red tape and aiding business viability."

Broadbent's proposal is in line with the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), which has advocated fuel-based charging for a number of years.

She says the option is fairer on businesses that undertake fewer kilometres, such as driver-training firms.

"They need a B-double to train new drivers, but might only do 5,000km in it per year," she says.

"At present, the business would pay up to $25,000 to register their truck – the same as a truck doing hundreds of thousands of kilometres each year."

Broadbent says the industry is keen to pay its way, but wants to find a fair alternative to the current registration charge that most stakeholders acknowledge as flawed.

"It has resulted in over-recovery since 2007," she says.

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