Brad Gardner, 04 November 2015

Association delivers blunt message to government: stop overcharging trucking operators.

The Queensland trucking industry has joined a growing chorus demanding relief from exorbitant heavy vehicle registration and fuel charges.

Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) president Ben Almond used his speech at the group’s 2015 annual dinner to criticise governments for sticking to the existing charging formula despite knowing it has led to trucking operators being overcharged.

Like the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA), the QTA wants transport ministers to agree to a reduction in charges to make up for the years of overcharging.

Transport ministers are due to meet this week to discuss the heavy vehicle charges to apply from July 1, 2016. The National Transport Commission (NTC) in 2014 recommended changes to the charging system to prevent overcharging.

“My association has recently provided the Queensland Government with a detailed submission on the subject of heavy vehicle charging,” Almond says.

“Our message and that of the industry throughout Australia is that it is time to stop the overcharging of truck operators in this state and in this country. Minister’s accepted in 2014 that the overcharging was a reality.

“The option of freezing government revenue will simply lead to a continuation of overcharging to the extent of $1.2 billion over the next six years.

“We urge the Queensland Government to support the direct implementation of the NTC option which will deliver a reduction in heavy vehicle registration removing the current overcharging.”

The ALRTA and the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) have publicly voiced their concerns about heavy vehicle charges.

ALRTA president Kevin Keenan says the trucking industry is being overcharged about $200 million annually under the existing system.

Transport ministers put off implementing the NTC’s recommendations until July 1, 2016, but Keenan claims alternative options are now being considered.

“We have already had a two year delay, which is more than enough time for governments to adjust to a fairer charging system,” Keenan says.

“Further delays would be nothing more than a blatant opportunistic tax grab”.

Extracted in full from Owner Driver.