Reform of A-Trailer charges is all the more essential …

If the 6% figure flows through to registration charges, this is what the national rego charges may be looking like sometime in 2012-13:-

Possible   registration charges in 2012-13

Semis

B-2s

B-3s

RT-1s

RT-2s

$6,074

$16,604

$23,501

$12,090

$14,474

Those possible charges make it all the more important for the NTC to deliver strong results from the ‘Review of A-Trailer Charges’ that was started last year. We need that review to drag these charges back as far as possible.

The NTC’s now under the pump. Back in November 2011, all of the nation’s Ministers for Transport and Infrastructure joined together to instruct the NTC to bring them proposals for how to fix the A-Trailer problem by the end of February 2012.

That report’s due soon, and we know that several Ministers are keenly awaiting it.

… but a rushed job won’t help anyone

Throughout last year, the ALRTA consistently asked the NTC and the Ministers to deliver results on-the-road by 1 July this year.

Some officials have argued that there are several problems which mean that they can’t return to a single, standardised charge-per-axle across all types of trailer. One of these problems was that, even if they wanted to, they wouldn’t have enough time to deal with some associated ‘machinery of government’ issues before 1 July.

In the same breath, we’ve been told that they can’t make an initial step towards fuel-based charging because … yes … officials may not have enough time to deal with some associated ‘machinery of government’ issues before 1 July.

Over this past week, our National Executive discussed what to do about the possibility that the two approaches that seem to be most favoured across industry could both be ruled out on the grounds that time has simply run out inside government.

To take that excuse off the table, our National Executive has amended our policy position. Our message to governments is that we’re now open to a solution occurring later in 2012, if that’s what’s needed to get the best solution across the line. BUT: if governments need a little more time, we’ve suggested that a fair and necessary step is to defer this year’s Annual Indexation until the solution to A-Trailers is ready.

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