Minister to investigate New Zealand's heavy vehicle charging system
07 March 2017
Today I will travel to New Zealand to meet senior political leaders, officials and industry representatives to learn more about New Zealand's heavy vehicle user charging system, including electronic charging methods which are now used by an increasing proportion of heavy vehicles in New Zealand.
Heavy vehicle users in Australia already pay a Road User Charge, however there are plans to reform the current arrangements.
The Council of Australian Governments has agreed to accelerate the progress of reforms to heavy vehicle user charging. Heavy vehicles are defined as 4.5 tonnes and above and make up around 3 per cent of vehicles on the roads in Australia.
This visit will be important to provide a first-hand understanding of potential issues to be considered as we explore reforms to Australia's heavy vehicle charging system.
Part of the reform process in Australia includes the development of options to move to independent price regulation for heavy vehicle charges. I expect to release a discussion paper for comment in the first half of 2017.
In New Zealand revenue generated by the road user charges is set aside in a dedicated land transport fund, to be invested back into the road network by an agency operating at arm's length from government.
Successive reviews, including Infrastructure Australia's Australian Infrastructure Plan and the Harper Competition Policy Review, have advocated for reform of heavy vehicle user charging in Australia to include elements similar to the New Zealand system.