Registration fee charges a blow to smaller transport businesses


Times are bleak for smaller businesses as they brace themselves for increases


By Ruza Zivkusic | March 2, 2011

Smaller transport businesses are bracing themselves for hard times ahead following the increase in registration fee charges, the NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA NSW) Manager Jill Lewis says.

She believes the 2.4 percent increase is another nail in the coffin of smaller transport businesses, who are still coping with the impacts of recent natural disasters and the A-trailer fee increase.

The timing of the increase is inappropriate, she adds.

"I’ve had phone calls from members saying ‘How the hell am I going to do this?’ Lewis says.

"Part of me says that our industry is resilient and we fight and cope with different issues at various times but over the last couple of years it just seems to be on top of the other.

"This is just another nail that could possibly lead to be the tip of the edge," she adds.

"I think it’s unfair, not only have we had all of these natural disasters in our country but petrol prices were a huge hit to our industry.

"And then we had A-trailers go up in registration and now this."

Council for Small Businesses (CSB) Australia Executive Director Peter Strong says businesses will have to use their profits to pay the increase.

"It is money that they can’t put on their mortgage; money that they can’t use to buy food or go out," Strong says.

"Governments have to understand the impact on families, they understand it when it’s a wage earner but they seem to think that we’re not human beings and that it’s all fine."

Meanwhile, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Chief Executive Peter Anderson says the Federal Government’s announcement to introduce a carbon tax from July 2012 is a blow to the competitiveness of Australian businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.

"Wether they are exporting or import competing, small and medium-sized enterprises will face higher energy costs while having limited capacity to pass on this impact through higher prices," Anderson says.

"The continuing failure by government to recognise the vulnerability of small and medium businesses is a serious omission in the announcement."

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