Industrial Relations, Transport Industry News

NatRoad calls on government to invest in decarbonisation fund

NatRoad

The industry association wants to see further investment from the federal government on the path to decarbonising transport.

Industry association NatRoad has called on the federal government to put further funding towards a proposed decarbonisation fund.

It wants the government to invest $3.5 billion to the fund after NatRoad’s release of an Australian road freight transport decarbonisation white paper.

Drawing on both local and global research, the white paper dissects the industry’s shift to low emission road freight vehicles and operations and how it has progressed so far.

The NatRoad white paper is based on six principles:

  • Co-design, co-investment, committed funding and support from government and supply chain partners
  • A centrepiece Clean Transport Fund operating as a ‘green bank’ to help fund the industry’s transition
  • Collaboration on key aspects of the shift between government, the road freight industry and supply chain partners including on policies, regulations, time frames, and contracts
  • Capacity building rather than the decimation of segments of the industry
  • Tangible recognition of road freight as an essential service critical to the nation’s supply chains, economy and well-being, evidenced by its efforts during the COVID crisis
  • Acceleration of the technology pathways to make a material contribution to reducing emissions.

NatRoad says it advocates for a mix of financing and direct incentives to drive the move towards alternative fuels like electricity, hydrogen, and low emission trucks.

CEO Warren Clark says the push for a clean transport fund needs $3 billion more invested by the federal government, in addition to the $500 million Driving the Nation Fund.

“We are advocating for a hand-up, not a hand-out. This is a shared national problem, and it requires a shared national response,” he says.

“It is a must to have co-investment by government as many of our road freight businesses are unable to meet the steep initial costs.

“The vast majority are small businesses with chronically low profit margins.”

NatRoad wants the investment to follow the model of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), which has so far invested $12.7 billion to enable transcations totalling $48.8 billion to support economy-wide decarbonisation.

This comes in the form of renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative fuels and low carbon materials.

“This may not be sufficient in the long term, but represents a reasonable, proportionate initial investment to drive down emissions and accelerate the market take up of low emissions solutions,” Clark says.

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