Friday, April 13, 2012

Australian Authority Rebel Over Road Haulage Registration Increases

Northern Territory Refuses to Implement Government Rises
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – Subsequent to our piece yesterday regarding a streamlining of procedures for heavy road haulage projects in Western Australia comes the news that the Northern Territory Government (NT) has delighted local hauliers with the news that it has rejected the countrywide agreement designed to increase truck and trailer registration charges, in some cases by over 30%.

According to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) the effective fuel tax on the industry will increase by 10.4 per cent, or 2.4 cents per litre over which local authorities have no control and Northern Territory Minister for Lands and Planning, Gerry McCarthy has written to central government to state that the NT will not implement the national registration charge increase instead upping registration charges by a flat 3.7 per cent, and reducing charges on A-trailers to match semi-trailers. These increases will not come into force until the 1st January 2013.

The move has encouraged the ATA to try to persuade all regional authorities that the proposed national increases are unwarranted and it intends to continue pursuing its lobbying campaign against the registration hike with ATA chairman David Simon saying:

“Minister McCarthy has recognised that many trucking operators simply cannot afford to pay the extra fuel tax and increased registration charges. He has also recognised that reducing A-trailer charges will encourage operators to use modern, safer truck combinations like B-doubles and BAB-quads.  

“The ATA has not given up on its efforts to convince ministers to change their minds about the increase. In the coming weeks, we will work with our member associations to urge ministers to bring every state and the Australian Government’s fuel tax into line with the Northern Territory decision.”

The ATA says the effect of this would be to increase the fuel tax on truck operators by 0.9 cents per litre, from 23.1 to 24 cents per litre, in line with inflation. Truck and trailer registration charges would increase 3.7 per cent with a substantial fall in A-trailer charges to match semi-trailers.