Heavy vehicle road user charges could rise by 2.5% this July.
Heavy vehicle road user charges could rise by 2.5% this July. Sarah Harvey

Have your say on proposed increases to heavy vehicle charges

HEAVY vehicle road user charges could go up 2.5% in July.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) originally said the figure was 2.6% but they have released an ammendment saying that figure was incorrect and the actual increase recommended is 2.5% or 26.14 cents per litre.

The proposed annual adjustment for the 2013-14 financial year has been released for public consultation.

"Heavy vehicles in Australia are charged for the use of the roads by a combination of a fuel-based charge (determined by the federal government) and a fixed registration charge (determined by state and territory governments)," the NTC said in a statement.

"Under the directive of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI), the NTC is responsible for reviewing national heavy vehicle charges and calculating the annual adjustment."

A 2.5 per cent adjustment to the road user charge, to take effect from July 1, 2013 is proposed.

"The adjustment to the road user charge adheres to the overarching principles set by COAG and SCOTI regarding full cost recovery of heavy vehicle expenditure and the removal of cross-subsidies between vehicle classes."

The NTC has invited submissions on the proposed annual adjustment, the deadline is March 26.

Submissions can be made online or by mail to: Annual Adjustment Submission, National Transport Commission, Level 15, 628 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE VIC 3000

The calculations of the proposed increase are outlined in 2013 Heavy vehicle road user charge annual adjustment consultation document.

Heavy Vehicle Charges Review:

A range of improvements have been recommended to the current heavy vehicle charging system to ensure it is more practical and fair according to a discussion paper released by the National Transport Commission (NTC) for public consultation.

In February 2012, Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) approved the NTC undertaking a new heavy vehicle charges determination.

The NTC's Acting Chief Executive, George Konstandakos said the Heavy vehicle charges review discussion paper was developed collaboratively with industry representatives and governments.

"We have been working closely with industry and governments to identify potential improvements to the current charging system," said Mr Konstandakos.

We've found that while the current system has achieved its primary objective of ensuring industry pays its fair share of government spending on roads, changes could be made to ensure the system is fairer, easier to understand and more transparent."

Some of the proposed changes outlined in the discussion paper include:

  • ensuring the principles which guide how the NTC calculates charges take account of how operators use different vehicles combinations. The way these principles are interpreted should also be made explicit in any charges review.
  • exploring how to further improve the accuracy of the data which is used to calculate charges
  • ensuring the cost of registering heavy vehicles better reflects the way operators use different vehicle combinations
  • exploring an axle grouping charge, i.e. under the current heavy vehicle charging system charges are calculated based on the assumption that articulated vehicle classes such as B-doubles retain their configuration during the financial year. However, operators may use the prime mover and trailers to form another combination. In contrast, an axle grouping charge uses the number of axles in each group to determine the charge.
  • exploring whether it is more equitable to increase the fuel-based road user charge and reduce the registration charge so low-mileage operators are charged more fairly for their use of the roads.

Mr Konstandakos said the NTC was keen to hear from industry and governments about their views on the proposed changes.

"We're holding a series of public consultation forums around the country during March to generate awareness and discussion about the proposed recommendations contained in the paper," said Mr Konstandakos.

Submissions on the discussion paper close on 2 April 2013 and will inform the final findings and recommendations the NTC will present to SCOTI in May 2013.

'Determination' refers to the process the NTC undertakes to review the way heavy vehicle charges are set, including making specific recommendations on what the charges should be.

This review is the first stage of the determination, which must be completed by 1 July 2014.

The NTC will now embark on a series of consultation forums in each state and territory.


Date Time Location
March 8 8.30am-noon Launceston
March 11 8.30am-noon Darwin
March 12 8.30am-noon Perth
March 13 8.30am-noon Port Hedland
March 15 8.30am-noon Bunbury
March 17 8.30am-noon Port Lincoln
March 18 8.30am-noon Adelaide
March 19 8.30am-noon Mt Gambier
March 20 8.30am-noon Melbourne
March 21 8.30am-noon Townsville
March 23 8.30am-noon Dubbo
March 25 1pm-4.30pm Canberra
March 26 8.30am-noon Sydney
March 27 8.30am-noon Brisbane
March 27 5.30pm-9pm Albury Wodonga
Details of the public consultation forums.

To learn more about the review and have your say, register to attend one of the consultation forums by calling toll free 1800 503 082 or registering online.

Big Rigs

Tech to save 'zombie' pedestrians from walking into traffic

Tech to save 'zombie' pedestrians from walking into traffic

People are becoming “smombies” (smartphone zombies).

Fresh tech for luxury Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

Fresh tech for luxury Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

Suave sibling of the regular bodied GLC is due for an update.