Concerns over planned new truck freight tax

A road freight tax reportedly being considered for trucks loading and unloading at the Port of Melbourne has come under fire.

Many are joining calls to rule out the tax, which they say would make road freight more expensive and less competitive when compared to rail.

Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight, Roma Britnell said, “Labor must immediately rule out imposing a truck tax on the Port of Melbourne. This ludicrous approach by Labor will raise the cost of freight on roads, costing Victorians more for goods.

“Instead of making rail more competitive by investing in it, this will simply make road freight more expensive.

“Labor should fix the rail freight network in order to bring costs down rather than impose a sneaky tax that will do little to improve freight route efficiency and will be passed on to Victorian families who will pay more for goods.”

A regional Victorian council has echoed this view.

Mildura Rural City Council wants the Victorian Government to scrap reported plans for the new tax on truck freight at the Port of Melbourne.

Mildura Mayor Liam Wood said the new tax would be a financial hit for the broader community, commodity groups and local growers.

“Given the ongoing need for major upgrades to the rail network, including completion of the Murray Basin Rail Project, our region is still heavily reliant on road transport, meaning we could be among regions hardest hit by this new tax,” Wood said.

“This means increased costs for our local transport operators, which will then be passed on to local growers and businesses transporting goods in and out of our region.

“And of course, it’s our broader community who will then feel the impacts of these increased costs at the checkout.

“We need more information from the Victorian Government on how income from this new tax will be spent, the impact on regional areas, and how much of it will be invested in our region – whether its rail or road upgrades.”

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