NSW Independence, Overcharging and Freight Restrictions

This week the news has included NSW Independence, Overcharging and Freight Restrictions, as well as a revamped Access Portal, all here in Diesel News.

Road Freight NSW has announced it will become an independent organisation from January 1 2018. It is currently a subsidiary of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), after beginning as ATA NSW in 2007.   Road Freight NSW says it will now work independently to campaign on policies affecting the NSW transport sector, primarily heavy vehicle safety, the regulatory regimes stifling business growth and the unwarranted surcharges, like stevedores’ port taxes, being imposed on carriers.

“We will be the local voice for local truck carriers, providing support and advocacy on behalf of our members, who now include some of the country’s largest transport companies,” said Jon Luff, Road Freight NSW Chairman. “We have enjoyed our collaboration with the ATA and its Board, Directors and General Council. It’s an exciting time for Road Freight NSW and our membership. It will prove to be a game changer for the sector.”

Fix Overcharging

The first step in the Government’s road funding reforms must be to fix the overcharging of truck and bus operators, according to Geoff Crouch, ATA Chair. Truck and bus operators are estimated to be overcharged by $343 million in 2017-18 with the continuing freeze on registration charges.

“Trucking operators pay for our use of the road system through a fuel based road user charge, administered as a reduction in our fuel tax credits, and very high registration charges,” said Crouch. “These charges seek to recover the cost of the road expenditure that is due to trucks and buses.

“Authoritative new figures from the National Transport Commission, an independent government body, show that truck and bus operators will be overcharged by $343 million in 2017-18.The overcharging goes back years, and started because the charging model underestimated the number of trucks and buses on the road.”

Improved Access Portal

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) says it has rolled out a number of new features in the NHVR Portal allowing operators, road managers and NHVR stakeholders to interact on the same technology platform for the first time.

“More than 400 road managers across Australia now have the ability to respond to consent requests using an online form or an NHVR Portal Form,” said David Carlisle, NHVR AccessCONNECT Program Director. “This is the first step moving away from the original email-based process, moving all users onto the same NHVR Portal interface for access applications.”

City Freight Restrictions

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) says increasing restrictions on vehicular access in CBD areas across Australia is making it increasingly difficult for the freight logistics industry to serve consumers and businesses.   “To put it bluntly, Australia’s cities are not freight-friendly. This is an inevitable consequence of planning systems that do not properly account for freight movement,” said Michael Kilgariff, ALC Managing Director. “Australia is already one of the most highly urbanised countries in the world, and a significant proportion of the residential and employment growth projected to occur in the years ahead will be heavily concentrated in CBD areas.”

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