'Groundbreaking' reform wins plaudits from industry

Industry groups heap praise on NSW for financial assistance package, claiming it will improve viability of transport operators

July 19, 2012

Industry groups have backed the New South Wales Government’s announcement of a multi-pronged assistance package for trucking operators, claiming it will improve business viability.

Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) President Barney Hayes has called the package "groundbreaking" and says it demonstrates New South Wales – long seen as a bane of trucking operators – is committed to delivering long-term benefits for the industry.

Along with Treasurer Mike Baird, Roads Minister Duncan Gay yesterday announced the requirement to pay stamp duty when purchasing new trailers would be scrapped.

The package also includes a full rebate for operators registering tri-axle dollies and a 50 percent rebate for those with tandem-axle dollies.

The government will pay a 50 percent rebate owners of spare trailers with one or two prime movers or rigid trucks and no more than five trailers (excluding dollies).

The registration concessions are designed to ease the pain of new heavy vehicle charges that took effect on July 1 and increased fees by more than 20 percent in some cases. The new charges also reduced the cost of registering A-trailers.

"The recent national heavy vehicle charging outcomes created dire and serious adverse outcomes for many regional transporters and the industries they service," Hayes says.

"This announcement and commitment by the roads minister and New South Wales treasurer provides assistance and encouragement to enable many businesses in New South Wales to better compete nationally and improve their viability."

Hayes says scrapping stamp duty is an important reform that will allow New South Wales to compete more effectively with its neighbours.

"This should encourage heavy vehicle registrations overtime to come back to New South Wales and to ensure the funds that follow are invested in the vital road and infrastructure network used to move freight in the state," he says.

Gay touched on the theme of lost registration revenue yesterday, saying he was fed up seeing trailers displaying Queensland or Victorian number plates.

"In many cases, it means transport operators are buying and/or registering new trailers in other states with New South Wales forfeiting vital business and associated revenue," Gay says.

The New South Wales branch of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA NSW) says the package will deliver a lifeline to trucking operators.

The group says operators are struggling with a combination of higher registration charges and the 2.4 cents per litre increase to the fuel excise introduced at the beginning of the financial year.

"The state government’s assistance package will reduce the cost of running a trucking business at a very hard time. It is a real win for every small trucking operator," ATA NSW Manager Jill Lewis says.

The concessions will be introduced on September 1, while the abolishment of stamp duty hinges on legislation getting through the New South Wales Parliament.

Operators who have paid or will pay registration fees before September will still be eligible to receive the rebates.

What do you think of the financial assistance package? Will it help improve the prospects of trucking operators in New South Wales? Leave your thoughts below or contact us.

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