THE Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) voted to approve short-term implementable measures to significantly reduce heavy vehicle A-trailer charges on March 21 however the plan also includes raising the fuel excise and spreading the registration cost rises over other classes of vehicles.
SCOTI requested that the National Transport Commission (NTC) urgently review A-trailer registration charges in November 2011 following calls from industry that the charges were adversely impacting some operators.
The updated charges, which include significant reductions in B-double and B-triple registrations, are expected to be implemented by July 1.
Reconstruction activity costs associated with natural disasters, such as floods, have been excluded from the charges.
Fuel excise will rise by an extra 2.4 cents per litre to 25.5 cents and the NTC recommended an annual increase of 5.7 percent in heavy vehicle charges, with a new costing model varying pricing.
A tri-axle trailer will drop from $6525 to $3300 and a tandem unit comes down from $6195 to $3150.
The new price for registering a nine-axle B-double will be $14,407 from July 1, a reduction of over 1300, and B-triples will drop $4526 to $17,707.
NTC chief executive Nick Dimopoulos said the updated charges were developed following extensive consultation with governments and industry.
However the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) didn't endorse any of the proposed pricing models.
The proposal is also based on research and Council of Australian Governments' policy directions.
"We've listened carefully to industry and government views and have developed a short-term solution that will significantly relieve the financial pressure on operators who use A-trailers," claimed Mr Dimopoulos.
"The updated charges are based on the best available data and will ensure that operators who don't do a lot of mileage, such as livestock transporters, and operators using safer more productive vehicle types aren't unfairly
The heavy vehicle industry will continue to pay their way for their use of the road network under the updated charges, allowing governments to invest in building better and safer roads for safer, more productive vehicles.
SCOTI has also requested that the NTC look at more holistic reform of charges over the longer-term.
"We understand that the transport industry is looking for a longer-term solution for charges that will more fairly charge operators for their use of the road network," Mr Dimopoulos said.
"We are looking forward to working together with industry and governments on developing a new, fairer system that aligns with reforms already underway in this area."
The NTC's report to Ministers is available on the NTC website ntc.gov.au.
The updated charges can be found in the NTC report.
• From 1 July 2012, the fuel tax credit that can be claimed by trucking operators will decrease from 15.043 to 12.643 cents per litre. The effective fuel tax paid by the industry will, as a result, increase by 10.4 per cent from 23.1 to 25.5 cents per litre.
• Australia's transport ministers have also decided to increase many truck and trailer registration charges, although A-trailer charges will fall by almost half.
• Registration charges for multi-combination prime movers will increase by almost 22 per cent, with the charge for a three-axle multi-combination prime mover increasing $1,693, from $7764 in 2011-12 to $9457 in 2012-13.
• Registration charges for many rigid trucks will also increase substantially.
• The total registration charge for a 9-axle B-double will fall $1301, from $15,708 in 2011-12 to $14,407 in 2012-13. But the registration charge for a triple road train will increase from $13,693 in 2011-12 to $16,607 in 2012-13.