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Prime Mover Magazine

Fuel tax should be frozen: NatRoad

National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) CEO Warren Clark has called on the Federal Government to heed Senator John Williams’ call for a freezing of fuel excise.

“Senator Williams understands the road transport industry,” said Clark.  “He gets that fuel prices are a large percentage of operator’s costs, around 30 per cent. 

“Tax on diesel is currently at 41.2 cents per litre. The rate is increased twice a year in line with inflation.

“In the 2017-2018 year, just under $11 billion was raised from excise on diesel fuel.

“For the year to 30 June 2018 fuel prices rose by 16.7 per cent and 15.5 per cent 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 per cent of trucks and around 50 per cent of light commercial vehicles are diesel fuelled.

“Margins in the transport sector are tight.  Increased costs will need to be passed on. This means increased prices in consumer goods and services to the general community.

“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,” he said.

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