Publication Details

Laird, P. (2017). Trucks are destroying our roads and not picking up the repair cost. The Conversation, 23 June 1-3.

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The Conversation


It's high time Australia changed its current road user charges for trucks. The shortfall between the charges for heavy vehicles and the money spent on things like road system maintenance, construction costs, road crashes involving heavy trucks, emissions, pollution and urban road congestion amounts to a taxpayer subsidy for the industry of at least A$3 billion per annum. The current charges, like those of cars, rely only on annual registration fees and fuel taxation. Instead Australia should be following the lead of New Zealand, Switzerland and some other European countries and introducing a charge system based on mass and distance. There have been many inquiries over the years into changing the system, and there's yet another one underway by the National Transport Commission and the federal government. In the meantime, heavy vehicle charges have been frozen at 2015-16 levels for an initial two-year period.