Heavy vehicle charges could ease pressure on councils: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has welcomed a trial which would see heavy vehicle operators pay a location specific charge when they travelled on State roads.

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The Courier Mail reported the Federal Government had sought submissions on the move to make heavy vehicle road users pay the extra charges, in addition to existing registration fees and fuel taxes.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said the trial would be an important step in making road usage fairer.

“We must balance the economic and efficiency benefits of increased access to local roads with damage to the network,” Dr Michael said.

“Heavy vehicles impact the road network and these costs hit local governments hard because they have limited road revenue and manage the bulk of the roads, often for the first or last mile.”

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Dr Michael said road user charges were complex and it was important governments achieved the right balance.

“It’s about maintaining safety and amenities for all all road users. It’s why we’re calling on the Federal Government to commit to broader road user charging reform,” she said.

“As vehicles get more fuel efficient and drivers start to move to electric or hybrid vehicles, the amount of Government revenue raised by the fuel excise will decrease, and we don’t want to see funding for roads and infrastructure bear the brunt of that.”