LBCA 2016: Farmers exploiting concessional truck registration in the firing line

By: Brad Gardner, Photography by: Brad Gardner

NSW plans to take action against those misusing heavy vehicle concessional registration scheme.


Farmers in New South Wales using cut-price heavy vehicle registration to illegally compete against commercial trucking operators could soon face greater scrutiny from authorities.

NSW roads minister Duncan Gay says work is being done to act on claims from the trucking industry that primary producers are flouting their concessional registration obligations.

Primary producers are entitled to significantly lower heavy vehicle registration fees if using a truck for purposes directly related to their business, but they are not permitted to operate it on a commercial basis.

"Primary producers using concessions to do commercial work is one of the key concerns across the industry. I acknowledge, for commercial operators, you’re paying registration as a commercial operator and you’re telling us that you find yourself competing with others in the market who are getting close to a 60 per cent registration reduction," Gay says.

"It highlights that the system needs to be fairer. We’re looking at it and when I say we’re looking at it we are looking to try and make this system better…I’ve got [Roads and] Maritime [Services] looking to see how we can tighten up in this area to remove some of the problems." 

Gay made the commitment during his keynote speech at this year’s Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) annual conference.

The problem of businesses misusing concessional registration, however, is not limited to NSW farmers.

Gay says there are primary producers from interstate crossing into NSW and competing against commercial trucking operators. 

"We’re also disturbed to hear that Victorian primary producer registration plates were operating across the state during the recent harvest," he says.

"In fact, there was even a Victorian primary producer plate and truck as far north as Willow Tree. He is seriously lost."

Willow Tree is almost nine hours north of the Victorian and NSW border at Albury and Wodonga.


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