The Australian and state governments must put off a planned increase in the truck fuel tax and registration charges, Australian Trucking Association CEO Ben Maguire said today.
In November 2019, 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.
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 raised the need to delay the charge increase in an ACCI video conference with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack today.
“Given the double impact of the bushfires and also now the coronavirus, we’re seeking your support to delay these rises if at all possible,” Mr Maguire said in the video conference.
Mr Maguire thanked the Deputy Prime Minister and the Government for listening to industry.
“It was a great experience to be able to participate in a free-wheeling video conference with the Deputy Prime Minister. I want to thank Michael McCormack for his willingness to participate and frank responses to our queries,” he said.
“The Deputy Prime Minister and his team have been more available than ever at this time of COVID-19, which is very much appreciated by industry.”
Mr Maguire said that trucking businesses in the grocery and home delivery sectors were flat out, but that others had seen their work plummet.
“The ATA’s rolling survey of trucking operators is showing us the effects of the epidemic. In the last week, 38 per cent of the businesses we surveyed reported a decline in activity,” he said.
“In February, the ATA recommended that the increases be deferred to 1 July 2021.
“Even if the state governments decide to press ahead and increase their registration charges, the Australian Government should delay any increase to the road user charge. It’s not required to follow the states’ decision,” he said.
The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the businesses and people of the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.