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Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has introduced into the parliament the new road charge bills, which will see operators of heavier vehicles pay higher fees.
Mr Albanese said he had attempted to introduce uniform heavy vehicle registration charges in March, but the move was blocked by the opposition.
“Without the changes contained in the legislation, the heaviest vehicles, namely those that do the most damage to our roads, will continue to be subsidised by the owners of small trucks and taxpayers,” he said.
The proposed legislation will reduce registration charges for a quarter of heavy vehicles, while lifting the road user charge for heavy vehicles to 21 cents per litre from 1 January 2009.
“This small increase reflects the fact that since the last change to the charge in 2001, spending by all levels of governments has risen by 33 per cent.
“The new road user charge is about ensuring the trucking industry pays its fair share for the road infrastructure it uses – a principle adopted by previous federal governments,” Mr Albanese said.
Some of the additional revenue raised through the new charges will be used to fund a $70 million heavy vehicle safety and productivity program, which will include the construction of more rest stops and the trial of technologies that monitor a driver’s work hours and vehicle speed.
TL and News
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