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Prime Mover Magazine

Government asks stakeholders to weigh in on heavy vehicle road user charges

Reforms to the way heavy vehicle charges are set are on the agenda for state and federal governments as they look to improve efficiency and productivity.

In November 2017, the Transport and Infrastructure Council agreed to develop a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) to provide an examination of the costs and benefits of independent price regulation. This included a forward-looking cost base, which would help provide a more transparent way of setting charges.

The RIS represents a key component of Phase 2 of the Heavy Vehicle Road Reform in which an independent price regulator would be established to set prices independently of government with the power to perform oversight activities related to forward-looking road expenditure. Allowed revenue under heavy vehicle charging based on expected future expenditure would be determined by a building block model through the implementation of a forward-looking cost base.

According to a statement issued by Paul Fletcher, Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, the goals of the current reform process are to bring improvements to customer focus, draw links between heavy vehicle operators’ needs with the level of service they receive, while factoring in the charges they pay and increasing the share of those charges invested back into road services.

“Heavy vehicle operators currently pay for access to public roads through the federally managed fuel-based road user charge and state government vehicle registration fees, with charges frozen for a number of years,” he commented.

“Stakeholder feedback on the Regulation Impact Statement will be important in helping to inform a decision by governments on the way forward for heavy vehicle road user charges,” he said.

“I encourage industry and heavy vehicle operators to carefully consider the proposed changes in the Regulation Impact Statement and have their say.”

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