NatRoad say the Morrison Government should freeze the fuel excise as it is unfair on transport operators.

The calls come from the CEO of NatRoad, Warren Clark, and echo those of National Party Senator, John Williams.

The Senator recently called for a freeze should the international oil price rose to $120 AUD a barrel.

In Early October prices topped out at around $107 AUD before falling back somewhat in recent weeks.

Back in July a barrel of oil was worth just $90 a barrel.

It appears then that oil prices are heading north and Mr Clark says that means the government needs to be prepared to act.

“Fuel prices are a large percentage of operator’s costs, around 30% and tax on diesel is currently at 41.2 cents per litre.

“The rate is increased twice a year in line with inflation.

“For the year to 30 June 2018 fuel prices rose by 16.7% and 15.5% for linehaul and short-haul operators respectively.

“At that time diesel fuel prices were at their highest since September 2014 and have continued to increase in this quarter, largely due to the fall in the Australian dollar.

“The road transport industry is currently heavily reliant on diesel fuel. 99% of trucks and around 50% of light commercial vehicles are diesel fuelled.

“Margins in the transport sector are tight and increased costs will need to be passed on.

“In 2001 John Howard did the right thing and stopped indexation of fuel excise.

“This was restored in November 2014 and now means that people are hurting more when the price of fuel rises – there’s a double whammy because the actual cost of fuel rises and the tax payable on the fuel rises, making transport more financially difficult for families and for the industry.

“We hope the Government will follow Senator Williams’ advice and freeze the fuel excise at current levels.”

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