Rural transporters have welcomed a New South Wales Government move to abolish stamp duty on the purchase of new heavy vehicle trailers.
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay told NSW Parliament recently that he’d had “an absolute gutful” of seeing the vast majority of truck trailers being hauled on NSW roads displaying Queensland or Victorian number plates.
“In many cases, it means transport operators are buying and/or registering new trailers in other states with NSW forfeiting vital business and associated revenue,” Mr Gay said.
“Transport operators – many of whom run interstate operations – aren’t stupid; they establish businesses and depots in other states to gain access to competitive pricing.
“Frankly, I don’t blame them; trucking companies run on tight margins at the best of times.”
NSW treasurer Mike Baird said the abolition of stamp duty on new truck trailers was part of a broader suite of government measures designed to ease the financial pressure on road freight operators in
NSW brought about by increases in national registration charges.
The National Transport Commission (NTC) recently advised state governments that an increase in registration charges for heavy vehicles was needed to ensure the industry continued to pay its share of the cost of providing and maintaining the road network.
New concessions announced for road freight operators in NSW include a full rebate of the national charges applied to tri-axle dollies and a 50pc rebate on charges applied to all types of tandem-axle dollies; and a 50pc rebate on the national charges applied to spare trailers owned by operators with one or two hauling units (prime movers and rigid trucks), and no more than five trailers (excluding dollies).
“Smaller, low kilometre operators will enjoy lower registration charges for their heavy vehicles and operators who purchase new trailers in NSW will pay no stamp duty,” Mr Gay said.
“This will ultimately lead to safer and more efficient truck and trailer combinations, helping to reduce the cost of running a freight business in NSW.”
The concessions will take effect from no later than September 1 this year, and will be reviewed in three years to assess their effectiveness at targeting those operators disadvanted by the new national charging arrangements.
Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association national president John Beer said the association had worked with the NSW Government for almost two years to secure the reforms, and was now asking other states to follow NSW’s lead.
“The abolition of stamp duty on new vehicle purchases is something that was promised to Australian business and industry as part of the original GST reforms,” Mr Beer explained.
“This historic step by the O’Farrell Government is the first move from any State to start delivering on that promise.
“We’re delighted by this decision. Other governments should now take up the challenge to make progress on these over?due reforms to stamp duty.”
Mr Beer said the NSW Government's decision to reform vehicle registration arrangements for small transport businesses would have particular significance for the many small transport operators who are obliged to own additional trailers in order to service their local community.
“This is a particular problem in the bush,” Mr Beer said.
“The local carrier in a small country town may be a bloke who owns just one prime mover, but he may have to own a flat?bed trailer, a grain?tipper, a stock?crate and maybe even a tanker in order to do all the jobs that local businesses and farmers need done.”
“At the moment, in eastern Australia, that bloke has to pay full rego for each of those trailers even though it’s not physically possible to use them all full?time.
“That’s thousands of dollars, for trailers that are parked up, on stand?by, for most days of the week.”
“NSW will now provide a discount on ‘excess’ trailers owned by small transport companies.”
“NSW will be the first State on the East?Coast of mainland Australia to offer this arrangement, which has been in place in Western Australia and Tasmania for some years.
“The rural transport industry will now ask Queensland and Victoria to consider similar arrangements.”
Results of concessions announced by the NSW Government to take affect by no later than September 1, 2012, include:
- A truck and dog operator with one rigid truck and two dog trailers will save $825 each year.
- A B-double operator with one prime mover, one A-trailer and two semi-trailers will save $1650 each year.
- A road train operator with one prime mover, one tandem axle dolly and two semitrailers will save $1375 each year.
- An operator purchasing a $75,000 trailer will save $2,850.
- Freight operators who pay converter dolly and trailer registration charges between July 1 and the implementation date will be eligible for the discounts.
The stamp duty exemption for new trailers will apply only after legislation has successfully passed NSW Parliament.