The government is signalling their intention to change the truck charging system with its location charging trial for a rego replacement. There has been a prolonged push by bureaucrats to change the nature of road charging from the current fuel tax and registration charging model to some form of mass/distance/location charge.
The Heavy Vehicle Road Reform process will be kicking off with, something called, the Trials Business Case Program in which interested parties like trucking operators, other supply chain players, regional organisations and local government can seek to set up charging trials where trucks pay over and above the current charges to access productivity gains.
Of more interest to the fleets of Australia is the National Heavy Vehicle Charging Pilot, a trial of alternative ways of charging trucks, to replace the current fuel and rego charging model.
The process is being proposed by the Dept of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities as a way to incentivise and develop improved productivity and a more efficient method of vehicle charging.
“The potential benefits of moving to a more efficient system of heavy vehicle charging and investment are substantial, between $6.5bn and $13.3bn to the national economy over 20 years,” says Paul Fletcher, Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, in his introduction to the proposed trial. “Economic modelling indicates these benefits will flow from improved heavy vehicle access, more efficient lifecycle management of roads, reduced operating costs for users and better-targeted investment in heavy vehicle infrastructure.
“This is why the Council of Australian Governments has directed the Transport and Infrastructure Council to accelerate Heavy Vehicle Road Reform. It is important to note that governments have not decided on an end state for reform and there are many system design issues to consider.
“Are there productivity benefits on offer where industry is willing to contribute to a user charge to address operating restrictions or issues impacting their business? Can we design a trial to address a localised issue while also supporting national reform? The process of developing a business case will inform government and industry decisions on possible implementation of trial proposals.”
Those wanting to be included in the trial need to make a proposal for consideration before September 21. For more information go to the DIRDC website.