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The National Road Transport Association is bitterly disappointed with the decision by Transport ministers from across the country to hike the Road User Charge (RUC) for heavy vehicles by six percent over each of the next three years.

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said the increase was unconscionable and would sound the death knell for some operators, many of them reportedly running on a profit margin of just 2.5 percent.

“This is a cruel blow to operators already under extreme stress who are desperately trying to stay viable,” said NatRoad CEO Warren Clark.

“In February, NatRoad called for a freeze on charges next year and for increases in the two financial years after that to be limited to 2.75 percent.

“We note that the Ministers say they’ve struck ‘the right balance’ between cost-recovery of and the need to minimise impacts on a vital industry.

“In effect, they’ve given a final push to those businesses that are already teetering on the edge.”

Mr Clark said the RUC will increase from 27.2c a litre to 28.8c in 2023-24, jumping to 30.5c and 32.4c in the years after.

Registration costs for a 6-axle articulated truck will go from the current the $6,530 (2022-23) to $6,872 (2023-24), and then to $7,236 and $7,621.