The Australian Government will establish a new voluntary national heavy vehicle charging pilot scheme and complementary Business Case Program to investigate how drivers pay for roads in Australia.

Roads Australia President, David Stuart-Watt, welcomed the news.

“We welcome this much-needed investigation into how we recoup the true value of the service provided to industry and the public by our road network,” Mr Stuart-Watt said.

“This initiative is particularly timely given the emergence of new mobility business models, and the expected popularity of electric and automated vehicles.

“We need to have charging systems and technologies in place to ensure everyone pays a fair and equitable price for using roads, regardless of vehicle type or ownership.

“If this national pilot scheme for the heavy vehicle industry is successful, we hope it will open the door to funding and charging reform across the broader road transport user market.”

Mr Stuart-Watt also praised the complementary Business Case Program as an innovative way to uncover untapped potential for further efficiency in the freight and logistics sector at a very local level.

He said the current program of work being done to inform National Heavy Vehicle Reform was a credit to state and federal governments and industry stakeholders.

“They are working together to find a better way to improve services for heavy vehicle road users,” Mr Stuart-Watt said.

“Ultimately, this work will deliver economy-wide benefits as efficiencies are passed down the chain.

“Alongside charging reform, it’s important that we remain focused on unlocking the most efficient routes for the national freight task.

“A better understanding of the opportunities to improve access will further assist heavy vehicle industry productivity.”

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