The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has challenged the proposed COAG pricing model. When commenting on findings that formed part of the ATA’s submission to the COAG Road Reform Plan (CRRP) secretariat on its Preliminary Finding Consultation Paper; the ATA’s National Policy Manager, David Coonan, said that the proposed pricing model developed as part of the COAG Road Reform Project, could result in an increase in costs for freight tasks, reduce safety and increase road wear.
“The ATA does not support mass-distance-location pricing (MDL) for a myriad of reasons. Most importantly, the CRRP modeling does not reflect freight tasks and this will send perverse messages to trucking operators,” he said.
Mr Coonan stated that the MDL charging, which is based on an individual trip, rather a freight task, is a fundamental flaw and that the difference between the two is startling when the COAG model is compared to the ATA’s fuel based model.
“Mass charging will lead to the freight task being spread over more trucks to avoid paying higher charges, which will mean more road damage. Distance charging is likely to have adverse effects on fleet management with operators using multiple vehicles for freight tasks, to again avoid paying higher charges,” he added.
“But possibly the biggest and most worrying impact will be as a result of location charging, where it would appear that rural and regional Australia will suffer the consequences. Under the MDL, operators in those areas will be slugged with expensive operating costs which will make delivering goods to those areas unfeasible.”
The ATA's submission includes 20 recommendations that challenge the COAG pricing model.