Industries scramble to save the fuel subsidy

Industry groups unite to defend Queensland's fuel subsidy, which may be axed in the State's upcoming Budget

Queensland Trucking Association Chief Executive Peter Garske remains "reasonably confident" the Bligh Government will keep the 8.35 cent fuel subsidy in place despite speculation it will be cast aside and replaced with new fuel taxes.

Garske joined other industry groups in Brisbane this morning to initiate a campaign encouraging members to demand the subsidy is kept - something which is nothing new to the five groups in question.

"This is the third time in the last nine years where we have had to fight this campaign [to keep the subsidy], we have been successful in the past and I am reasonably confident that we can persuade the government keeping it is the right thing to do," Garske tells ATN.

According to Garske, small operators with between six and 12 trucks would be affected severely and could see their bills rising by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Government had given assurance to the QTA and other industries before this year’s election that the fuel subsidy would stay and Garske says it must keep this promise.

"We [the industry groups involved in the campaign] have called collectively and separately to meet with the treasurer and he has yet to respond to us," Garske says.

RACQ Chief Executive Ian Gillespie says the removal of the subsidy, coupled with registration hikes which are set to come into effect in July would be devastating for all Queenslanders.

"A new fuel tax not only increases the cost of motoring, it would produce a domino effect of inflating coasts which in turn raise the price of other goods and services and could potentially lead to job losses," Gillespie says.

The launch of the campaign in Brisbane today by Garske and his counterparts from AgForce, RACQ, The Queensland Chamber of Commerce, Industry Queensland and Motor Trades Queensland was to encourage people to sign an online petition which will be put to Anna Bligh.

The petition can be viewed here

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