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Interstate Road Transport Charge Amendment Bill 2008

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2008

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

House of Representatives

 

 

 

 

 

Interstate Road Transport Charge Amendment Bill 2008

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by Authority of the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, the Honourable Anthony Albanese MP.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interstate Road Transport Charge Amendment Bill 2008

 

OUTLINE

 

The purpose of the Interstate Road Transport Charge Amendment Bill 2008 (the Bill) is to amend the Interstate Road Transport Charge Act 1985 (IRTCA) which imposes registration charges for heavy vehicles registered under the Australian Government’s Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS).  The Bill implements the registration charge elements of the 2007 Heavy Vehicle Charges Determination (the Determination) which sets out national charges for heavy vehicles and trailers.  The Determination was agreed to by the Australian Transport Council on 29 February 2008 and will be implemented by the Australian Government and the States and Territories from 1 July 2008.

 

The Bill allows Regulations to be made to implement  the national heavy vehicle charges detailed in the Determination, for application to FIRS vehicles.  The implementation of the Determination is part of the national road transport reform agenda, as agreed under the Inter-Governmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Road, Rail and Intermodal Transport.  The Determination implements Council of Australian Governments’ request to fully recover the costs of provision of the road network to the heavy vehicle industry.

 

Financial Impact Statement

 

There is no net impact on the Australian Government Budget flowing from this amendment.  All revenue from FIRS charges is returned to the state and territory governments under an agreed distribution formula that accounts for road usage by FIRS heavy vehicles. 

 

REGULATION IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The amendment to the Interstate Road Transport Charge Act 1985 reflects the national charges detailed in the 2007 Heavy Vehicle Charges Determination and agreed by the Australian Transport Council on 29 February 2008.

 

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) has been completed by the National Transport Commission and approved by the Office of Best Practice Regulation as part of the process of making the 2007 Heavy Vehicle Charges Determination.  That process included extensive public consultation.

 

A copy of the RIS (Volumes I and II), is attached.

 

 

 



 

 

Interstate Road Transport Charge Amendment Bill 2008

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1:  Short Title

 

1.         This clause provides for the Act to be called the Interstate Road Transport Charge Amendment Act 2008.

 

Clause 2:  Commencement

 

2.         This clause provides for this Act to come into effect on 1 July 2008 which is the date agreed by the Australian Government and the states and territories for the national implementation of the new charges under the Determination. 

 

Clause 3:  Schedules

 

3.          Clause 3 provides that each Act specified in a Schedule to the Bill is amended or repealed in accordance with the terms set out in the Schedule.

 

Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

Interstate Road Transport Charge Act 1985

 

Item 1

 

Item 1 is a formal provision which amends the title.  The terms ‘motor vehicle and trailers’ are replaced by ‘vehicle’ as ‘vehicle’ is defined in the Bill to include ‘trailer’.

 

Item 2

 

Item 2 inserts new subsections 3A, 3B and 3C.

 

New subsection 3A provides definitions for terms used throughout the Bill.  These are terms included in the model legislation which is being adopted in the Bill.

 

New subsection 3B describes measurements to determine categories of axles to facilitate the allocation of a vehicle to the appropriate charging category.

 

New subsection 3C facilitates the allocation of a vehicle to the appropriate charging category where a converter dolly or low loader dolly is to be used in conjunction with another trailer.

 

New paragraph 3C(1 ) specifies the combinations which are to be considered as one trailer.

 

New paragraph 3C(2) explains that the provisions in 3C(1) relate only to the determination of the number of trailers that a prime mover or truck are nominated to tow.  For charging purposes, a separate charge still applies for each converter dolly or low loader dolly and for each semi trailer.

 

Item 3

 

Item 3 repeals existing subsection 4(1) and substitutes the following:

 

New subsection 4(1) imposes a charge on the registration of vehicle in a category listed in subsection 1A of the Bill.

 

New paragraph 4(1A) lists the various vehicle categories to which a charge is payable in relation to registration.

 

Item 4

 

Item 4 omits ‘motor vehicles and trailers’ from Subsection 4(2) and substitutes ‘vehicles’, as 'vehicle' is defined in the Bill to include trailers.

 

Item 5

 

Item 5 amends subsection 4(3) which limits the application of the charge imposed in subsection 4(1) to vehicles with a mass rating for charging of more than 4.5 tonnes.

 

Item 6

 

Item 6 repeals section 5 and substitutes the following:

 

New section 5(1) amends the previous provision 5(1) to incorporate references to the categories of vehicle listed under subsection 4(1A) of the Bill.

 

New subsection 5(2) amends the previous section 5(1A) so as to be consistent with the new provisions of the Act.

 

New subsection 5(3) states that the amount of charge for a full year is worked out in accordance with the Regulations.  The Regulations provide for the charges either in a table of charges, depending on the year, or the application of an annual adjustment process for future years.

 

New subsection 5(4) requires that regulations made under this Act that provide for the amount of charges must reflect the national charges and annual adjustment processes that are agreed by the Australian Transport Council.

 

New subsection 5(5) This retains the old section 5(1B) provision.  This provision details the formula to be used to work out the amount of charge that applies for the registration of a vehicle for periods of less than a full year.

 

New subsection 5(6) The retains the old section 5(2) provision for the calculation of registration charges where a vehicle falls within 2 or more categories specified in section 4(1A).  

 

Item 7

 

Item 7 repeals section 5A which provided for an annual automatic adjustment.  The new process for applying future annual adjustments will be set out in the regulations made pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of the Bill.

 

Item 8

 

Item 8 omits the reference to section 5A which is repealed by Item 7.

 

Item 9

 

Item 9 amends subsection 6(2) by replacing references to ‘year’, by ‘financial year’, to reflect references in other sections of the Bill.

 

Item 10

 

Item 10 adds a reference to section 5 in relation to regulation making powers.

 

Item 11

 

Item 11 repeals the existing Schedule which includes a list of definitions as well as a reference to a table of charges.  The Schedule is replaced by provisions in the Bill which includes most of the existing definitions as well as additional national definitions aligning with new national charges.  The new charges will be set out in the regulations made pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of the Bill.

 

Item 12

 

Item 12 provides that this amendment applies from the financial year beginning 1 July 2008 and later financial years.  This is the implementation date agreed by Australian Transport Council Ministers.