Truck operators who regularly use Melbourne’s busy inner-west streets can now apply for a grant of up to $20,000 if they scrap their old prime movers and buy a newer model.
The Victoria Government has $15 million set aside for the subsidy scheme which is designed to improve air quality in the busy freight precinct.
To qualify, you must be a registered Australian business, your truck must be a pre-Euro 4 prime mover registered in Victoria and it must have operated in the inner-west at least once a week undertaking port-related movements over the last six months.
Applications for the ‘modernising the truck fleet program’ close on November 10 with applicants receiving a yay or nay on payment between December 12-21 after an expert panel ascertains the truck’s value.
The assessment panel will consist of staff from the Department of Transport and Planning and a residual committee consisting of truck sales industry experts with “expertise” in valuing second-hand trucks.
“The industry experts will provide subject matter expertise to assess the value of the truck on the second-hand market up to a cap of $20,000,” said the program website.
“Each industry expert will assess each vehicle, with the average value being considered the market value of the vehicle. This method of valuing vehicles is commonly used by truck dealerships to value vehicles.”
Successful applicants will then have 60 days after signing the agreement to demolish their old truck.
All grants will be paid within 14 days of receipt of a certificate of destruction.
As part of the clean air grants program the state government is also allocating a further $5 million to local councils to seal local roads in a bid to reduce pollution.
“We promised we’d make air cleaner in Melbourne’s inner west and that’s what we’re doing: replacing emissions-heavy old trucks and sealing roads to reduce dust pollution,” said Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne.
Community lobbyist, the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group, said it welcomes the grant program to upgrade old trucks but there’s still a lot more work to do around the “alarming health stats”.
“We need a Low Emission Zone to complement the grant program. And we need filtration on the West Gate Tunnel ventilation stacks so that all of that concentrated pollution is removed from the inner west air shed,” said a post on the group’s Facebook page.
The completion of the West Gate Tunnel Project in 2025 and the introduction of truck bans is set to remove around 9000 trucks from roads in the inner-west and cut congestion on local roads.