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FUEL TAX CREDIT RETURNS, CHARGES UP
The Federal Government has confirmed that the Fuel Tax Credit (FTC) will be reinstated from 29 September 2022.
This will coincide with the ending of the fuel excise concession.
However, please be aware that two other changes have occurred impacting the FTC rate.
- Fuel excise has been indexed from 44.2cpl to a new rate of 46.0cpl.
- The Road User Charge (RUC) will increase from 26.4cpl to 27.2cpl.
The resulting FTC rate is calculated as follows:
Fuel Excise (46.0cpl) – RUC (27.2cpl) = FTC (18.8cpl).
Therefore, the FTC will increase from 17.8cpl to the new rate of 18.8cpl.
All of these changes come into effect on 29 September 2022. It’s truly a case of giving with one hand and taking away with the other.
HEAVY VEHICLE CHARGES 2023-24
The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a consultation paper exploring options for setting heavy vehicle charges from 2023-24. The key questions are:
- Should charges be set for a single year, or multiple years?
- On what basis should charges be set?
Heavy vehicle charges are applied on an agreed cost recovery model via PAYGO. In essence, governments spend money on roads which is recovered via vehicle registration charges and the Road User Charge.
However, due to road expenditure increases and COVID-related delays in increasing heavy vehicle charges, there is now a $1.4b revenue shortfall.
If no decision is made by Ministers, legislative provisions will result in an automatic charging increase of 40.4% in 2023-24.
The consultation paper presents three alternative options:
- Option 1: Increase heavy vehicle charges by 2.75% per annum: Consistent with previous Ministerial proposals, but the charging gap will increase.
- Option 2: Increase heavy vehicle charges by 6% per annum: This is close to the current rate of consumer price inflation.
- Option 3: Increase heavy vehicle charges by 10% per annum: This would still be insufficient to reduce the revenue gap below $1b by Year 3.
ALRTA has previously supported smaller charging increases, sooner. It is unfortunate that government decision-making delays have led to the current situation. We will consult with our member state associations to determine a sensible path forward.
Submissions are due to the NTC by 12 October 2022.
LONGER TERM CHARGING REFORM
The ludicrous situation with heavy vehicle charges under the current PAYGO model (see article above) underscores the need for a better charging system. Further, as we march towards a net-zero emission economy, it will eventually be untenable to recover road expenditure via fuel charges (especially in the case of electric vehicles).
Behind the scenes, governments are progressing with a National Pilot of a new ‘mass-distance’ style charging system that will eventually replace PAYGO.
Select industry participants are trialing ‘hubodometers’ to measure distance travelled and are ‘pre-purchasing’ blocks of kilometres using a mock permit system. Participants have previously trialed telematics-based distance reporting systems.
Trial outcomes, participant experience and industry sentiment will be independently assessed by Deloitte.
It is likely still several years before a new system is ready for implementation. ALRTA continues to assert that, fundamental to any changes in this space, governments must commit to supply-side reforms that deliver better road infrastructure where it is needed most.
$49.5M PACKAGE FOR ADBLUE SUPPLY
The Australian Government has announced a $49.5 million investment over four years in a package to enhance the resilience of the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) market, including AdBlue. The funding will establish an emergency stockpile of Technical Grade Urea (TGU) which is the critical component of DEF.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said the Australian Government was taking action to ensure ongoing reliable supplies of DEF.
The package includes:
• A government controlled strategic stockpile of 7500 tonnes of TGU providing an additional five weeks of supply beyond industry stock levels in case of a supply shortage.
• A competitive grants program to support sovereign capability and manufacturing projects that will look to produce TGU domestically.
• Collection of voluntary data provided by industry to provide market awareness of TGU and DEF domestic stocks.
Information about the Federal Government’s fuel strategy can be found here
CHANGES TO NSW & VIC HARVEST SCHEMES
Operators who transport grain in New South Wales and Victoria should be aware of new changes to be introduced to the New South Wales Class 3 Grain Harvest Management Scheme Mass Exemption Notice 2021 (No. 2) and the Victoria Class 3 Grain Harvest Management Scheme Mass Exemption Notice 2017 (No. 1) when they are renewed this month.
New South Wales
When the new notice comes into effect on Monday 20 September, it will:
- Remove the requirement to carry the notice in a heavy vehicle compartment.
- Remove the requirement to travel to the nearest grain receiver for vehicles that qualify for access to higher level networks, such as Higher Mass Limits and Performance Based Standards.
- Clarify the application of approved intelligent access systems to eligible vehicles.
When the new notice comes into effect on Tuesday 27 September, it will:
- Remove the requirement to carry the notice in a heavy vehicle compartment.
- Remove the requirement for eligible vehicles to be enrolled in the Grain Harvest Management Scheme. The requirement to be enrolled will only apply to receivers. Vehicles will only need to comply with the conditions of the notice.
- Update the description of eligible vehicles, so there is no confusion about vehicle type. For example, ‘Rigid – 2 Axle’ has been renamed ‘Single steer, single drive rigid truck’ and ‘Prime Mover (Single Drive) & Semi Trailer – 5 Axles’ has been renamed ‘Single steer, single drive prime mover and triaxle semitrailer’. It is important to note that there is no change to eligible vehicles; just to the way they are described.
Once published, the new New South Wales notice can be found at www.nhvr.gov.au/law-policies/notices-and-permit-based-schemes/state-notices/new-south-wales and at www.nhvr.gov.au/law-policies/notices-and-permit-based-schemes/state-notices/victoria for the Victoria Notice. When each notice comes into effect on 20 September and 27 September, they will replace the current notices referenced at the beginning of this article.
PERSONAL MEAT IMPORTS BANNED
The Australian Government has banned personal meat imports from countries that are not recognised by Australia as foot and mouth disease free. The ban covers meat products derived from FMD susceptible animals including bovines, ovines, caprines and porcines.
CLIMATE CHANGE TARGET LEGISLATED
The Australian Government has legislated a 43% emissions reduction target by 2035. The new law was supported by The Greens, Jacqui Lambie Network and independent Senator David Pocock.
Longer-term, the Federal Government is aspiring to a net zero target by 2050.
Our industry can expect policy changes that will push transport down a lower emission path.
ARE YOU OK TO DRIVE? – A TOOLBOX TALK
A recent study found family factors, being in poor physical health or in financial distress, have the biggest impact on how likely a heavy vehicle driver is to face psychological distress.
Studies suggest around 45% of Australians will experience mental illness at some point in their lives, with 1 in 5 experiencing it every year. Mental health and mental illness are still a taboo topic in some industries, especially in male dominated ones. This stigma makes workers in road transport and logistics to be less likely to access mental health and wellbeing services and resources.
The use of certain expressions or words regarding mental health and mental illness can create stigma, discrimination, and judgement. Without guidance and training we could be perpetuating stigma and judgement without realizing it. Meaningful conversations can be difficult, which is why we could tend to avoid them. Yet, they are important to create real connection.
The National Road Safety Partnership Program has developed a Toolbox Talk about the importance of asking people are you okay to drive? The Toolbox is designed to be flexible so your organisation can present or distribute it as you see fit.
To download the full pack, visit Toolbox Talks >> Heavy Vehicles >> Are you OK to drive?
LBRCA HEADING TO DENILIQUIN
The LBRCA is excited to be supporting the Deniliquin Truck Show and Industry Expo in 2022 as a silver sponsor. The show will kick off at 10am on Saturday 22 October 2022 at Memorial Park in Deniliquin and conclude at 4pm.
On Saturday evening at 6pm, swap your boots with bowties to attend the Deniliquin and District Transport Wall of Fame Inductee Dinner at the Deniliquin RSL Club before finishing your weekend with a memorial service at the Deniliquin and District Transport Wall of Fame at the rest stop in Davidson Street from 11am on Sunday 23 October.
SAVE THE DATES FOR 2023
LBRCA – 9-11March 2023 – TAMWORTH – More Information