Federal Opposition joins fight against road pricing hikes

By: Jason Whittaker


The federal Opposition has joined the fight against massive road pricing increases, claiming Labor transport ministers are set to approve

The federal Opposition has joined the fight against massive road pricing increases, claiming Labor transport ministers are set to approve the hikes this week.

National Party leader and shadow transport minister Warren Truss says local communities will be "savaged" by the increases to fuel excise and registration charges.

Truss says the Australian Transport Council meeting of federal and state transport ministers this Friday is set to approve the proposals from the National Transport Commission (NTC).

He says the increases amount to a $170 million slug on the trucking industry.

"These extra charges and taxes will inevitably flow straight from truckies to industry to household budgets around Australia, ramping up inflation as they go," he says.

"Of course, people who live in rural and regional areas will pay proportionally more because they are more dependent upon transport services."

As the former transport minister Truss was among the first to reject similar hikes from the NTC.

"Now that the ALP is in Government everywhere around Australia there are no checks and balances. This is Labor’s cooperative federalism at work," he says.

"The Rudd Government is always railing on the ills of inflation, yet at the first test they feed it.

Truss says he appeals to ministers to "pull back" from the decision on Friday.

"If they don’t, Labor stands condemned for driving up prices for hard-working truck drivers, small business and working families," he says.

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