Bills Digest no. 89 2007–08
Road Transport Charges (Australian Capital Territory)
Repeal Bill 2008
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
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Road Transport Charges
Territory) Repeal Bill 2008
Portfolio: Infrastructure, Transport, Regional
Development and Local Government
Sections 1 to 3 on the day
of Royal Assent, schedules 1 and 2 immediately before the
commencement of the Interstate Road Transport Charge Amendment
relevant links to the Bill, Explanatory Memorandum and second
reading speech can be accessed via BillsNet, which is at http://www.aph.gov.au/bills/.
When Bills have been passed they can be found at ComLaw, which is
The purpose of the bill is:
- to repeal the Road Transport Charges (Australian
Capital Territory) Act 1993 (the Road Transport
Charges (ACT) Act) to allow the Australian Capital Territory to
pass its own legislation
- to repeal certain provisions in the Road Transport Reform
(Heavy Vehicles Registration) Act 1997 to remove
references to the Road Transport Charges (ACT) Act consequent upon
In 2006, the Productivity Commission undertook a review of the
economic costs of freight infrastructure and efficient approaches
to transport pricing at the request of the then Treasurer, the Hon.
Peter Costello. The purpose of the review was to assist the Council
of Australian Governments (COAG) to implement efficient pricing of
road and rail freight infrastructure through consistent and
competitively neutral pricing regimes.
The review of heavy vehicle charges was endorsed in 2007 by the
COAG. The Minister
for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local
Government, the Hon. Anthony Albanese, referring to the
Productivity Commission report stated that
existing charges are insufficient and the heaviest
vehicles are not paying for the damage they cause while lighter
trucks are paying too much.
The increase in the Road User Charge will ensure
all heavy vehicles types pay their fair share and will have only a
marginal impact on a vehicle s operating cost.
digest for the
Interstate Road Transport Charge Amendment Bill 2008 provides
further information about the increase in the registration charges
for heavy vehicles registered under the Federal Interstate
When the Road Transport Charges (ACT) Act was passed, it was
envisaged that each of the States and the Northern Territory would
pass legislation and regulations in similar terms in their
respective parliaments. This would ensure that there was uniform
charging for heavy vehicles throughout Australia. The Road Transport Charges (ACT)
Act fixed the annual registration charges for vehicles rated above
4.5 tonnes. It also fixed charges for the granting of permits to
operate vehicles with a gross mass exceeding 125 tonnes. Revenue
from registration charges was retained by the Territory.
The Inter-Governmental Agreement was entered into by the
Commonwealth Government and all State and Territory Governments in
The Inter-Governmental Agreement embraced a commitment by the
Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to improve transport
productivity, efficiency, safety and environmental performance and
regulatory efficiency in a uniform or nationally consistent manner
while monitoring the impact of reforms on infrastructure and
regional and remote areas.
Paragraph 14.1 of the Inter-Governmental Agreement relates to
model legislation as follows:
14.1 That there is a need to maintain a single
reference point for Agreed Reforms that take the form of Model
Legislation or Road Transport Legislation, in order to promote and
maintain a uniform or nationally consistent regulatory and
Paragraph 14.5 states in relation to the Australian Capital
The Commonwealth, in agreement with the Australian
Capital Territory (ACT) and other relevant Parties will, as soon as
practicable, repeal any Road Transport legislation that has been
enacted by the Commonwealth on behalf of the ACT.
This is the purpose of the Road Transport Charges (Australian
Capital Territory) Repeal Bill 2008.
Regulatory Impact Statement for the 2007 Heavy Vehicle Charges
Determination puts into context how the model Act with the
revised road user charges for heavy vehicles will operate and why
it is necessary to repeal the Road Transport Charges (ACT) Act as
7.4 Legislative issues
If approved by the ATC, the recommended annual
registration charges will be set out in the form of a model Act
made under the National Transport Commission Act 2003.
This approach is consistent with the requirements of the
Inter-Governmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational
Reform in Road, Rail and Intermodal Transport (the IGA).
The model Act will not be operative , in that it
will not create any legally enforceable rights or obligations for
any party. It will instead provide an authoritative depository for
the content of the agreed reform. The model Act will appear as a
schedule to Regulations made under the National Transport
Commission Act 2003 on the Federal Register of Legislative
Instruments in accordance with the provisions of the
Legislative Instruments Act 2003. This approach will
facilitate the continued referencing of the national charges by
The charges set out in the model Act will
supersede those currently contained in the Road Transport
Charges (Australian Capital Territory) Act
1993. The location of the charges in that Act was a product of
the template legislative reform mechanism adopted by the National
Road Transport Commission. This approach has been replaced by the
model legislation system set out in the IGA. The template
legislation is to be repealed once all jurisdictions have removed
any remaining references to it.
The model Act will continue to reflect the key
concepts (such as determined charges and the annual adjustment
process) and definitions contained in the Road Transport
Charges(Australian Capital Territory) Act
1993. It will depart from them as necessary, to reflect any
matters agreed by the ATC that are not currently provided for (such
as the phasing in of certain registration charges).
The Explanatory Memorandum states that there is no financial
impact on the Australian Government.
Item 1 of Schedule 1 of the Bill repeals the
whole of the Road Transport Charges (ACT) Act.
Schedule 2 of the Bill amends the Road
Transport Reform (Heavy Vehicles Registration) Act 1997.
Item 1 repeals paragraphs 9(c), 10(1)(g) and
17(2)(f) of the Road Transport Reform (Heavy Vehicles
Registration) Act 1997 so that references to the Road
Transport Charges (ACT) Act are omitted.
Item 2 repeals section 30 of the Road
Transport Reform (Heavy Vehicles Registration) Act 1997 so
that references to unpaid charges and fees under the Road Transport
Charges (ACT) Act are omitted.
18 March 2008
Bills Digest Service
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