BUDGET 09-10: Transporters welcome Budget billions

Trucking operators will benefit from the federal Budget for decades to come, transport lobbies say

Trucking operators will benefit from the federal Budget for decades to come, the industry's peak lobby says.

Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chairman Trevor Martyn says the billions of dollars pledged for road improvements will improve safety for drivers and lower running costs.

"Every Australian family will also benefit, long after the current recession is just a memory," he says.

"Better roads lead to lower costs at the supermarket checkout, because the trucking industry delivers every item in every Australian’s supermarket trolley."

The 2009-10 Budget includes $28 billion in road projects over six years, with $3.4 billion to be invested in 2009-10.

Martyn particularly welcomes the announcement of four major projects on Network 1, the main road freight corridor between Melbourne and Cairns.

The ATA has also welcomed the decision to expand the 30 percent tax deduction on new capital assets.

Small businesses will now be able to claim a 50 percent bonus deduction, and its availability will be extended by six months to December 31.

Martyn calls it a "lifeline" for the trucking industry and its suppliers.

"Many small trucking companies want to buy new equipment that is safer and more fuel efficient, but are having trouble getting finance because of the recession," he says.

"Today’s announcement will give them the chance to upgrade their fleets and will protect the jobs of the Australians who work for the industry’s suppliers."

The rail lobby has welcomed its handouts, which amount to $4.6 billion on infrastructure projects.

The Government has announced a number of new projects, including millions for construction and planning on metropolitan rail lines in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Australian Railways Association (ARA) CEO Bryan Nye says the investment will maximise rail's urban capacity and productivity.

"This is a crucial time for Australia, and the Government has done the right thing by ensuring rail is part of the solution to the challenges we face today."

Nye has called on the Government to set up a national infrastructure coordinator to mediate between state governments.

"We can no longer afford the delays caused by the myriad of planning approvals and delays at local levels," he says.

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