COVID-19 in Australia: Keep the trucking industry delivering essential supplies by halting toll costs or suspending the fuel-based road user charges

The Australian road transport industry plays an integral part in supporting Australians during the Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic. As the impacts of the virus increases maintaining a fully functional supply chain is critical in reducing the impact of the crisis on Australians and Australian businesses.

National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) CEO Warren Clark highlights that,

“Many in the road transport industry are already feeling the detrimental impacts of COVID19 on their business. If road transport businesses reduce capacity or fail the supply chain will be compromised.”

As the largest national representative road freight transport association NatRoad is calling on Government to support the call to action to reduces operating costs for our industry members.

NatRoad’s recommendations are:

·         Postponing the introduction of tolls on the NorthConnex tunnel when it commences operation later this year.  This will assist operators who service the Sydney metropolitan region or use the current Pennant Hills Road feeder to service all parts of the State.

·         Waiving or reducing tolls on all existing tollways; and

·         Establishing an independent body to monitor and report on the operation of tollways and the costs to users as well as to guide the Government on whether future toll roads are required or cost effective.

“A single truck doing two return trips a day say from Newcastle to Sydney, five days a week for 48 weeks a year will accumulate $22,109 in tolls. This reduction in tolls could determine if a business sinks or swims during this turbulent environment,” said Warren.  

Taking these measures for the duration of the COVID19 emergency would be a straightforward, practical and highly viable means of ensuring food, fuel, medical supplies, and other essential materials get to where they are needed.

NatRoad is committed to supporting our industry during these trying times.