Federal Interstate Registration Scheme scrapped

Labor backs the government in ending FIRS

Thirty years after it was introduced the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS) will be scrapped.

Both houses of federal parliament have now passed the Interstate Road Transport Legislation (Repeal) Bill 2018 with support from both the major parties.

Related: Mixed reaction to 2018 Budget from road transport industry

Shadow transport minister Anthony Albanese telling parliament the introduction of the national regulator (NHVR) has made the scheme redundant.

“Indeed, less than two per cent of the nation’s heavy vehicles, about 14,000, operate under this scheme.

“An independent evaluation of the scheme in 2016 found no evidence that FIRS was achieving its policy objectives, given the changes that have been made to national regulation.

“It concluded that the stamp duty exemption had neither reduced the age of the heavy vehicle fleet, nor improved road safety outcomes.”

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg was in agreeance with the opposition MP.

“This is the first step in the delivery of a new system that better serves the needs of today’s dynamic transport industry by removing a well-intended but now fundamentally dated mechanism.”

FIRS will now be phased out over the next 12 months.

But not everyone was happy with the move, NatRoad wanted FIRS rejigged, while the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) was against shutting it down.

ATA Chair Geoff Crouch saying it would lead to a $6.2 million annual tax increase on new heavy vehicles.

“While the Government has proposed a one-off stamp duty exemption for existing FIRS vehicles, the exemption will not address the ongoing annual costs for operators who would normally register new vehicles in FIRS.”

And Green Senator Janet Rice says the closure of FIRS won’t help get newer and cleaner trucks on the roads.

The Senator calling on the Government to ensure incentives and regulations for cleaner and more fuel efficient heavy vehicles are introduced ASAP.

Related: TIC welcomes record April sales result

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About Joel Helmes 1833 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Heavy Vehicles. With more than 20 years experience in the media, including more than 10 years heading up the car publication - Behind the Wheel, Joel is passionate about bringing a fresh perspective to the Australian road transport industry. Prior to his media career Joel worked for a number of years as a bus, truck and delivery driver.

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