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Prime Mover Magazine

National Pilot trucking along with call for tenders

The Australian Government has called for tenders for work on the first stage of the National Heavy Vehicle Charging Pilot – an important step toward establishing a fairer, more efficient national heavy vehicle user charging system. 

Today, vehicles 4.5 tonnes and above, which make up about three per cent of all vehicles on the road, pay a heavy vehicle user charge, which is collected through the fuel excise system and through state motor vehicle registration charges.

The Australian Government and state and territory governments have committed to reform the current heavy vehicle user charging system – and part of that reform process will be a series of trials and pilots to test alternative approaches. 

“The National Heavy Vehicle User Pilot will lay a foundation for later on-road trials, which will test if we could replace the existing heavy vehicle user charge with a direct user-pays charging system,” said Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities. Paul Fletcher.

“Such a system could improve freight efficiency – feeding through to lower prices for consumers and a substantial productivity dividend for the national economy, estimated at between $6.5 billion and $13.3 billion over twenty years.

“But to get these benefits we need a system which works well for the heavy vehicle industry.  This is why the Australian Government is keen to work with industry to design and run heavy vehicle charging trials.

“Last month I met with a number of key members of the industry to discuss heavy vehicle road reform and how we could progress trials.

“The participants clearly indicated they want to understand the impact a potential new charging system could have on their businesses and customers.

“The research and planning work to be undertaken during Stage 1 of the National Pilot will provide some of the answers and inform how the on-road stages of the National Pilot can best be implemented.

“I have seen first-hand in Oregon and California the important role well-designed road user charging trials play in engaging users in the reform process,” he said.

Participation in the National Heavy Vehicle Charging Pilot will be voluntary and the first two stages will not involve ‘real money’ charges.

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