WA transport boss hits back at council campaign to raise tax on trucks

Western Australia’s peak road transport body has returned fire on the consortium of councils in the state lobbying to have “extractive” industries pay more for road maintenance.

South West councils are pressuring the WA Local Government Association to update its guidance on the levy, which would mean they could charge the trucking sector more for the upkeep of the roads.

In a stinging rebuke, the Western Roads Federation CEO Cam Dumesny reminded the councils that the transport industry already pays “billions” in fuel excise to the federal government for the use of the roads.

Dumesny says the WA transport industry also pays high vehicle registration fees, contributing “hundreds of millions” to the state government which only has 12 per cent of the state roads.

“The problem is that the feds and state collect the money from transport but it’s local government that has responsibility to maintain over 85 per cent of our state’s roads,” said Dumesny.

“Local government needs to stop trying to pick fights with the transport industry as we serve their local communities and businesses and instead grow a set and take up the fight for fair funding with the feds and state.”

In a note to WRF members, Dumesny also added that many “extractive” industries already pay levies and/or royalties, so that’s more money being paid out for road maintenance.

“Finally, they should also try building the roads properly in the first place.”

Shire of Nannup president Tony Dean told ABC News that the council attempted to impose extra rates on heavy logging trucks about 10 years ago.

“It was a little bit messy, it was too widespread, we abandoned that,” he said.

This year the Shire of Nannup came across the issue again and placed a differential rate on the bluegum plantation industry.

“We’ve raised some money,” Dean said.

“It goes a long way in covering the difference between what we collect in rates and what we actually spend on our road system.”

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