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Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Page: 169

Senator Mark Bishop asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 17 December 2004:

(1)   What is the current maximum registration charge under the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme.

(2)   When were these charges last reviewed and changed by ministers at the Australian Transport Advisory Council (ATAC).

(3)   What work is currently under way to review: (a) the charges; and/or (b) the charging formula.

(4)   Will this matter be considered by ministers at the next ATAC; if so, when and where will that meeting be held.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) — The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   Heavy vehicle registration charges are nationally uniform across Australia for all heavy vehicles.  Heavy vehicle registration charges under the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS) are consistent with those charged under the National Heavy Vehicle Registration Scheme.  The current Schedule detailing charges for FIRS vehicles was published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette S162 of 19 May 2004.  Under the schedule the maximum charge of $7,492 applies to a B-double combination which is the largest combination permitted to be registered under FIRS. 

(2)   The level of heavy vehicle registration charges is periodically reviewed by the National Transport Commission (NTC) and recommendations made to the Australian Transport Council (ATC) in the form of a Determination. 

The most recent Determination was made in 2000.  However, an annual adjustment procedure agreed by ATC Ministers in May 2001 provides for an automatic annual adjustment to heavy vehicle registration charges in between the making of Determinations.  This was decided because Determinations involve substantial resources and time to produce.  The current annual adjustment, made on 1 July 2004, increased national heavy vehicle registration charges by 0.3%.

(3)   The NTC is currently conducting a recalculation and review of the charges for a Third Determination.  This work is being conducted within charging principles agreed by ATC in August 2004. 

(4)   It is currently anticipated the NTC’s recommendations on a Third Determination will be considered by ATC Ministers in the first half of 2006.