THE ATA CEO Ben Maguire says the proposed increase in the truck fuel tax and registration charges should be delayed until 1 July 2021.

“In November, transport ministers identified a preference for the truck fuel tax and registration charges to rise 2.5 per cent from 1 July 2020 and then another 2.5 per cent from 1 July 2021,” said Maguire.

“In total, this would see the effective tax on fuel increase 1.3 cents per litre. The national registration charge on a six axle articulated truck would increase $287,” Mr Maguire said.

“Ministers rejected officials’ advice that charges needed to increase by 11.4 per cent, after industry representatives briefed them on the cost and demand pressures faced by trucking businesses.

“Since November, the economic outlook for the trucking industry has got even worse.

“The unprecedented bushfires in late 2019 and early 2020 significantly affected the revenue of many trucking operators and will continue to affect them into the future. And now the coronavirus is expected to have a greater impact on the Australian economy and supply chains than the bushfires.

“This year is not the time to be raising taxes and charges on the people who transport two thirds of Australia’s domestic freight.

“In our submission to the National Transport Commission on the proposal, the ATA has recommended that the increases be deferred to 1 July 2021. Charges should then increase 2.5 per cent in 2021-22 and 2.6 per cent in 2022-23.

“Governments have directed the National Transport Commission to prepare a new heavy vehicle charging determination. The submission sets out the issues that the NTC should consider, including the need to exclude the cost of rebuilding bushfire affected roads from future charging calculations,” Mr Maguire said.

The ATA submission was approved by its Transport and Economics Committee, following a unanimous vote by the ATA General Council last year.

“The submission shows how ATA members are working together to advocate on behalf of the trucking industry nationally,” Mr Maguire said.

The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.