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Prime Mover Magazine

Isuzu Director talks road-pricing reforms

Isuzu Australia (IAL) Director and Chief Operating Officer, Phil Taylor, has said that legislators should study the examples of privatisation within utilities sectors and apply lessons that will establish a clear path forward as they work towards transforming the provision of heavy vehicle road infrastructure into an economic service.

He has said it is imperative to the national economy that governments clearly articulate their agendas around any reforms to road pricing.  

“At present, over 75 per cent of non-bulk domestic freight is carried on roads in Australia,” said Taylor. “Disruptions to either the productivity or viability of the transport and logistics sector will have severe implications on broad swathes of society, and affect our national competitiveness.”

Ahead of any discussions about what the transport and logistics sector would need to contribute to the Australian road network, Taylor has said that the ramifications of the policy should be carefully considered so that legislative bodies can develop a constructive pathway forward.

“User-pays infrastructure pricing is not without merit,” said Taylor. “It gives road owners a direct incentive to service the needs of road users. As many prominent figures in the freight and logistics sector have already explained, pricing must correlate with the efficiencies it helps create for transport operators.”

As well as moving ahead with equitable solutions surrounding road-pricing reforms, Taylor has also encouraged governments to act quickly and develop transparent plans around road pricing.

“Rather than a piecemeal approach towards the mammoth issue of road pricing, there needs to be a clearly articulated strategy agreed upon by state and federal governments, so there’s a framework to ensure tomorrow’s road network effectively manages the concerns of all stakeholders, without stifling business operations,” he said.

“Australian transport operators should not have to worry about uncertainty or fluctuating road usage costs and how these changes are going to affect their business.

“A clearly articulated approach to how road pricing changes will be implemented, coupled with transparency around how and when costs will come into effect will be integral in ensuring the heavy vehicle sector can operate with as much certainty as possible.

“Uncertainty around any reform will hamper productivity, which is why state and federal governments need to take clear steps to legislate a clearer path forward, so operators in the transport and logistics sector can continue to provide the vital services that every Australian needs access to.”

Taylor has also encouraged other figures within the transport industry to advocate for measured steps towards road pricing reforms.

“The more conversation we can facilitate between industry and government, the better chance we have of working towards an equitable, efficient road network that will continue to meet Australia’s growing freight transport needs,” said Taylor.

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