The Victorian Minister for Ports, Hon. Dr Denis Napthine, has revealed that the Coalition Government has scrapped the Freight Infrastructure Charge (FIC). This announcement was warmly received by the Victorian Transport Association (VTA).
The previous Victorian Labor Government had proposed that the Freight Infrastructure Charge (FIC) be imposed on trucks entering international stevedores at Swanson Dock in the Port of Melbourne.
Since then, the VTA has continued campaigning against the tax. “Such a tax would be inequitable and would create great distortions in the container road transport market in Melbourne, sending many small to medium size businesses to the wall,” said VTA CEO, Philip Lovel AM, who labeled the scrapping of the tax “a win for common sense”.
He added, “We also agree with the Minister’s observation that the tax would have had negative impacts on exporters and transport operators in regional and rural Victoria.
“We understand that the Victorian Government has budget pressures and needs to continue to raise sufficient revenue to fund much needed transport infrastructure developments in the future.
“The announcement that the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) will be tasked with raising these revenues through its normal schedule of fees and charges is the right way to go. It is a transparent process, overseen by the Essential Services Commission (ESC).
“In the end of the day, revenues collected by the PoMC under the Port Services Act are justified by the capital works forecast by the Corporation to enhance port infrastructure.
“Then, port users, including ship operators, forwarders, importers and exporters, get the direct benefit of improved port infrastructure that enhances international supply chains.
Mr Lovel said that the VTA and its members would continue to work with the government and it agencies to enhance efficiency and productivity of the inland transport task associated with the Port of Melbourne – including road and rail transportation.