ATA reinforces election policy stance

Simon calls again for clear positions from both sides on carbon tax and road planning, funding and charging

August 5, 2013

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has reiterated that the carbon tax and road planning, funding and charging are the key federal election issues for the industry.

The industry group has lobbied the major political parties to make their positions on the issues plain even before Prime Minister Kevin Rudd named September 7 as the election date yesterday.

"The Labor Government still plans to extend its carbon tax to the fuel used by the trucking industry," ATA Chairman David Simon states.

"Under Labor’s plan, trucking operators would pay an extra 1.6 cents per litre in fuel tax from 1 July 2014.

"It’s a great improvement on the Government’s original plan, which would have seen a fuel tax increase of 6.858 cents per litre, but it is still a tax hike that many trucking businesses could not afford.

"In the election campaign, the ATA is calling on the Labor Government to announce it would, if elected, drop its plan to extend the carbon tax to truck fuel.

"The Coalition has already announced it would repeal the carbon tax completely."

Simon has made plain that both major parties should announce policies to fix Australia’s road planning, funding and charging system as soon as possible.

"Australia’s road planning and funding system is broken," Simon adds.

"Too many decisions at all levels of government are determined by short term considerations.

"We want both sides of politics to announce they would, if elected, base road funding decisions on meeting target standards for each tier of the road network.

"They should set those standards so the trucking industry could use high productivity vehicles like B-triples and super B-doubles on key routes as they are upgraded.

"There are also serious problems with the existing road charging system.

"Registration charges are very high. For example, it costs more than $14,700 to register a B-double.

"This raises cash flow issues for small businesses.

"The system is riddled with errors and discrepancies. But the option favoured by governments for reforming the system – putting a GPS tracker in every one of Australia’s 534,000 trucks – would be worse.

"Australia’s trucking businesses need both sides of politics to announce they would slash registration charges to reduce the impact of these huge, once a year payments on small businesses, and halt the move to GPS based pricing."

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