The heavy vehicle charges consultation report released by the National Transport Commission (NTC) in December 2019 sought industry views on the Transport Ministers Council’s preference for an increase in both heavy vehicle registration and road user charges by 2.5 per cent in 2020-21 and a further 2.5 per cent in 2021-22.
CEO of NatRoad, Warren Clark said members opposed the suggested increase.
“We oppose the suggested increase given the current environment. We thank Ministers for reducing the initially proposed increases of over 11% per annum. But we believe the Consultation Report does not take into account the true devastation caused by widespread drought and the ongoing bushfire crisis, let alone the foreshadowed impacts of the coronavirus.
“The heavy rains that have followed the bush fire destruction have also caused additional delays and stoppages on some road networks. Many members have been directly affected, especially where tragic stock losses or destruction of forested and agricultural areas occurred. Local communities were hit hard. Many members have been affected by the need to divert hundreds of kilometres from their usual routes to maintain current contracts.”
“This means that a lot of members lost money because the contract provided for a pre-agreed price for delivery. This is no time to be increasing the costs of heavy vehicle operations by increasing the road user charge or registration costs which are effectively taxes.”
If the call to have a continued freeze on these charges is not heeded, NatRoad recommends that any increase occurs from 1 July 2021 rather than from 1 July 2020.
NatRoad’s submission to the National Transport Commission is available online.