Nat vows to save trucking from carbon tax

Nationals senator pledges trucking industry will not pay a carbon tax if the Coalition wins government

By Brad Gardner | June 22, 2012

Trucking operators will dodge the carbon tax if the Coalition wins government federally, according to Nationals Senator John Williams.

In a parliamentary speech yesterday, Williams continued his opposition to the carbon tax, which will begin on July 1. The trucking industry has been given a two-year reprieve and will pay an extra 6.8 cents per litre for diesel from July 1, 2014.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) estimates the tax will cost operators $510 million when introduced, but Williams says the figure will be $10 million higher.

"Make no mistake about it, with a change in government at the next election the truckies will not face that extra $520 million tax on their diesel, brought on by these people who are supported by the Transport Workers Union (TWU)," Williams says.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has already vowed to rescind the tax if he wins office.

During his speech, Williams once again raised comments made by TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.

The union boss last year said the carbon tax would amount to a "death tax" for truck drivers unless they had the ability to recoup their costs, such as through the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

Williams says drivers will be forced to work longer hours and forgo maintenance to try and make ends meet when the tax is applied to trucking.
"The one group that will be hit big time is our truckies," he claims.

Williams says regional Australia, such as his home of Inverell, will be most affected by the tax because of a reliance on trucking.

"Everything in town comes in on the road, by truck. Every load of wool, every load of wheat comes by road, and the thousand head of cattle slaughtered each day at abattoirs in Inverell come in on the road and they go out on the road," he says.

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