Transport Industry News

Rural council calls for scrapping of proposed freight tax

Freight tax

The Mildura Rural City Council has joined a number of industry voices in opposing the proposed truck freight tax set to implemented at the Port of Melbourne.

Reports have emerged that the Victorian government will charge at least an $100 per container tax on trucks delivering freight into the port, with higher rates depending on the size and age of the vehicle.

It says that the tax will be used to fund the Port Rail Shuttle Network project, which was announced with an $18.3 million joint federal and state investment in November last year.

Mildura mayor Liam Wood says the tax will put significant financial pressure on rural communities and small transport businesses.

“Given the ongoing need for major upgrades to the rail network, including completion of the Murray Basin Rail Project, our region is still heavily reliant on road transport, meaning we could be among regions hardest hit by this new tax,” he says.

“This means increased costs for our local transport operators, which will then be passed on to local growers and businesses transporting goods in and out of our region.

“And of course, it’s our broader community who will then feel the impacts of these increased costs at the checkout.

“We need more information from the Victorian government on how income from this new tax will be spent, the impact on regional areas, and how much of it will be invested in our region – whether its rail or road upgrades.”

Wood says that the Mildura Rural City Council will continue to advocate against the tax at all levels of government.

The Victorian government says that the Port Rail Shuttle Network project will be ‘an opportunity to make a real difference to the way freight moves around Melbourne, reducing truck numbers in the inner city, removing congestion around the port and giving industry a more cost-effective way to get their products to market’.

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