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Retain FIRS to boost trucking productivity

27 October 2017

The Australian Government should retain and improve the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS) to boost productivity for interstate supply chains.

FIRS commenced operation in 1987 and operates as a voluntary alternative to state and territory based registration schemes, for heavy vehicles weighing more than 4.5 tonnes that are solely involved in interstate trade or commerce, including rigid trucks, prime movers, trailers and buses.

In 1991 the Australian Government amended FIRS to introduce B-double combinations on interstate routes, boosting the productivity, safety and environmental outcomes for the trucking industry. The Government should again utilise FIRS to set the pace on reforming heavy vehicle standards and improving road access for high productivity vehicles.

The closure of FIRS would instead further undermine the productivity growth rate for the industry, by increasing the stamp duty burden on the purchase of new vehicles. Stamp duty is inefficient, moving resources away from their highest-value use and undermining productivity and living standards.