A proposal to impose a 10 per cent increase in fuel taxes and registration charges on the nation’s truckies would cost the sector an additional $2.6 billion over three years, says Shadow Transport Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie.
McKenzie said the National Transport Commission’s proposed increases to ‘truckie taxes’ would drive up cost-of-living pressures on families and businesses and accelerate closures for small and family operated transport enterprises.
“Everything we make in this country and every good we buy gets to a shop by travelling on a truck, whether it originates on a farm, from a factory, or enters the country via a port,” said McKenzie.
“At a time of high inflation and cost of living crisis impacting Australian families, why would the Labor government want to excessively increase taxes on transport which is such an essential input to every product we buy?
“That takes a special kind of economic recklessness.”
Submissions closed recently on a consultation approved by Federal Transport Minister, Catherine King, proposing to increase heavy vehicle road user charges on fuel and heavy vehicle registration costs by up to 10 per cent per year for the next three years.
The proposed increases to the heavy vehicle road user charge would see the tax on heavy vehicle fuel use increase from the current 27.2 cents per litre up to 36.2 cents per litre by July 1, 2025. In addition, the states and territories would raise the road component of heavy vehicle registration charges by up to 10 per cent per year for three years.
“If Minister King’s 10 per cent truckie tax is implemented, the nation’s truckies would be slugged an additional $2.6 billion over the initial three-year implementation period, according to figures released by the National Transport Commission,” McKenzie added.
“By 2025-26 our truckies would be paying $1.35 billion more per year under Labor’s 10 per cent truckie tax, official documents show.”
Senator McKenzie said every single submission to the consultation process has rejected the proposed increases in truckie taxes.
“Labor’s proposed increases in truckie taxes have been strongly opposed by the Australian Trucking Association, the National Farmers’ Federation, NatRoad and the National Road Freighters Association.
“After taking the axe to road infrastructure projects in the October 2022 budget, the Albanese government has wasted no time seeking to increase taxes on our truckies to pay for road maintenance and repairs.”
Senator McKenzie said the former Coalition government had taken the decision in 2020 to freeze heavy vehicle road user charges in consideration of the economic impacts on the sector and economy from the Covid-19 pandemic and border restrictions.
“The Labor government needs to consider the flow-on impacts to the economy of the proposal and listen to the universal feedback from the sector,” she said.
“The Coalition stands by our truckies and I call on the government to scrap its plans to increase truckie taxes by up to 10 per cent.”
- McKenzie is a keynote speaker at Trucking Australia 23 this week, the Australian Trucking Association’s annual conference on the Sunshine Coast.