ATA puts the questions to election hopefuls

ATA releases election questionnaire to understand where Labor, the Coalition and the Greens stand on trucking

By Brad Gardner | July 29, 2010

The trucking industry will soon learn what Labor, Coalition and the Greens have in store for it after the federal election.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) today released its election questionnaire seeking responses from the parties to 20 questions involving heavy vehicle safety, roads, regulation, charges and the environment.

Highlighting the building of safer roads as the top priority, the ATA asks each party what their commitment is to the issue.

It also wants all parties to outline their approach to heavy vehicle rest areas and whether the $70 million federal program to fund rest areas will be extended when it ends in 2011-2012 financial year.

The Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program was introduced by Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese. The Coalition has already pledged to spend $500 million over 10 years on rest areas.

The ATA also wants the parties to state their position on the industry proposal for an accreditation-based licensing scheme so drivers graduate to higher classes based on training rather than time served.

The ATA will release the responses on August 11.

"By posing our questions to the parties, we are giving people in the trucking industry the facts about what is being promised. They will then be able to make up their own minds on which party offers the best deal for their business, their jobs and their livelihood," ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair says.

All parties have also been asked their policy on greater use of B-triples and higher productivity vehicles, incentives for companies to join the TruckSafe accreditation scheme a commitment to voluntary use of telematics.

In the section on regulation, the ATA asks the parties if they will press on with the national heavy vehicle regulator, improved fatigue management laws and national chain of responsibility enforcement.

The ATA also addresses potential problems facing the move to national regulations.

"What provisions would your party put in place to ensure that Australia’s road agencies and police forces enforce the other national regulations consistently across borders?" it asks.

"How would your party ensure that the national heavy vehicle regulator consults effectively with local trucking operators and industry associations?"

Despite the Greens opposing the fuel tax credit, the ATA has asked for all parties to state where they stand on the system. It also wants to know if there will be further changes to registration fees.

Fearing the cost of mass-distance-location charging, the ATA also wants the parties to say if they will consider the alternative fuel-based model proposed by the association.

The ATA has also sought a response from Labor, the Coalition and the Greens on whether incentives will be introduced to encourage investment in new technology and use of alternative fuels.

"If elected, what would your party do to create the right incentives for businesses and individuals to achieve greenhouse gas reductions at the least cost to the economy?" the ATA asks.

Click here to view the ATA’s 20 questions to Labor, the Coalition and the Greens.

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