Truckies pay upwards of $500 a week out-of-pocket due to fuel levy

Fired up truckie explains WHY he joined the 25km traffic jam that caused chaos in one of Australia's biggest city as he accuses the government of 'burying' workers

  • Victorian Tippers United Treasurer Ricky Woolcock explained new truck protest
  • He said the government tax levy - used to calculate truck driver's pay - is too low 
  • Tipping truck drivers' pay is still being calculated from fuel costing just £1.80p/L 
  • Drivers have been forced to absorb the extra pay, with some losing £500 a week 

By Ashley Nickel For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 17:23, 20 July 2022 | Updated: 17:23, 20 July 2022

A fired-up truckie has slammed the Victorian government as he claims they continue to refuse to negotiate with struggling transport workers. 

Victorian Tippers United Treasurer Ricky Woolcock said the 150 trucks that delayed traffic across Melbourne's CBD on Wednesday morning were in a fight to keep their businesses afloat.

Mr Woolcock said tipping truck drivers were expected to work for the same rate they did before fuel prices soared through the roof earlier this year, meaning strained workers were forced to cover excess costs.

Victorian Tippers United Treasurer Ricky Woolcock (above) said the 150 trucks that blocked Melbourne highways today was the result of the government failing transport workers

Victorian Tippers United Treasurer Ricky Woolcock (above) said the 150 trucks that blocked Melbourne highways today was the result of the government failing transport workers

On Wednesday 150 truck drivers (some pictured above) gathered to block Melbourne's West Gate Bridge by travelling just 20kmp/h from the bridge through to the city

On Wednesday 150 truck drivers (some pictured above) gathered to block Melbourne's West Gate Bridge by travelling just 20kmp/h from the bridge through to the city

He said that truck drivers wanted their fuel levy - the number used to calculate what a customer is charged for fuel - to be increased to keep up with rising operation costs.

'For us in the tipping industry, the government sets an hourly rate for what we get paid on government jobs, which also affects our pay at private jobs,' Mr Woolcock said.

'The government rate is currently set to allow £1.80p/L for diesel.

That's fine if fuel is £1.80 or £1.90 but we're now facing costs of £2.30p/L and £2.40p/L.

'Our trucks average a litre of fuel every 2km and we average 300km to 400km everyday.

While 50c may not seem like much it adds up quickly.' 

The truck convoy caused a 25km-long traffic jam to protest the government's low fuel levy that forces truck driver to pay about 50c out-of-pocket for every litre of fuel they use

The truck convoy caused a 25km-long traffic jam to protest the government's low fuel levy that forces truck driver to pay about 50c out-of-pocket for every litre of fuel they use

Mr Woolcock said the government had promised a higher fuel levy earlier this year before ceasing all negotiations with tipping truck drivers

Mr Woolcock said the government had promised a higher fuel levy earlier this year before ceasing all negotiations with tipping truck drivers

Mr Woolcock said truck drivers had been expected to pay for the difference in fuel price out of their own pocket, with some drivers' pay cut upwards of £500 a week.

He said tip truck drivers tried to negotiate a higher levy with the government in May but were quickly shut down.

'They buried it all and stopped speaking to us,' Mr Woolcock said. 

'There's been no communication at all.

'We've been patient but patience can only go so far.' 

Convoy spokesperson Mr Woolcock said truckdrivers had 'been patient but patience can only go so far' in response to low fuel levy rates

Convoy spokesperson Mr Woolcock said truckdrivers had 'been patient but patience can only go so far' in response to low fuel levy rates

On Wednesday morning, Mr Woolcock joined 150 truckie protesters driving 20km/h along Melbourne's busy West Gate Bridge during morning peak-hour traffic, causing a 25km-long traffic jam.

The trucks then continued their crawl up to Victoria's State Parliament, where some remained as others continued to circle the city.

'Fuel goes up but everyone still expects trucks to run,' Mr Woolcock said.

'We're trying to find money to cover everything from tyres to insurance while taking on this extra cost.

'The government has this mechanism (the levy) in place to help us cover costs but they're refusing to do it.'

Mr Woolcock said more than 500 tipping truck drivers who were unable to joint the convoy also went on strike on Wednesday to protest the government's low levy.

The low fuel levy rates mean truck drivers are not properly compensated for work with some drivers paying upwards of £500 extra for fuel every week

The low fuel levy rates mean truck drivers are not properly compensated for work with some drivers paying upwards of £500 extra for fuel every week