The Allan Government must rule out imposing a Port of Melbourne truck tax for freight movements.
Documents from the Department of Transport and Planning reveal a road freight tax is being actively considered for trucks loading and unloading at the Port of Melbourne to make the cost of road freight more expensive, and thus making rail freight more competitive, despite one container terminal not even having rail access.
Due to Labor’s failure to deliver the Murray Basin Freight Rail Network and upgrades desperately needed in other corridors, the cost of freight by rail has remained high and uncompetitive.
Worse still, only part of the proposed tax is to be spent on upgrading the rail freight network, with most simply being returned to consolidated revenue to cover some of the more than $30 billion in cost blowouts on Labor’s major projects.
Nationals Member for Mildura, Jade Benham, said: “Labor must immediately rule out imposing a truck tax on the Port of Melbourne. This ludicrous approach by Labor will raise the cost of freight on roads, costing Victorians more for goods.
“Instead of making rail more competitive by investing in it, this will simply make road freight more expensive and is no solution to Labor’s long neglect of Victoria’s rail freight network.
“Not to mention, the state of our roads are far from the standard to be carrying additional freight.
“Labor should fix the rail freight network in order to bring costs down rather than impose a sneaky tax that will do little to improve freight route efficiency and will be passed on to Victorian families who will pay more for goods.”
Premier Jacinta Allan can’t manage money, can’t manage projects and certainly can’t stop increasing taxes and charges.