Abbott win signals removal of Carbon Tax for transport operators

The Australian Trucking Association has congratulated the Prime Minister-elect, Tony Abbott, and the Deputy Prime Minister-elect, Warren Truss, on their election victory on Saturday.1136-8354web

The ATA awarded the Coalition four ticks out of four in its pre-election report card on the major parties.

The Chairman of the ATA, David Simon, said the Coalition victory removed the threat that the carbon tax could be extended to truck fuel.

If elected, the Labor Party would have extended the tax to truck fuel from 1 July 2014. The tax would have started at 1.6 cents per litre, but would have increased to 5.1 cents per litre by July 2016.

“Most trucking operators are small businesses. They do not have the market power to pass extra costs on, and Labor’s tax would have just made their lives harder,” Mr Simon said.

“The Coalition victory has freed the industry from the threat of this extra tax. The threat is gone even if the Senate tries to block the repeal of the carbon tax laws. The extension of the tax to truck fuel is not part of the existing laws and would have required new legislation.”

Mr Simon said the ATA looked forward to working with the Coalition on the other key issues affecting the industry, including better roads and road access, and truck taxes and charges.

“The Coalition has put forward a strong plan for building roads and improving how they are planned, and has also pledged it will not move to a satellite based system for tracking and billing trucks without extensive industry consultation.

“Australia’s governments are developing this satellite based system now, which would see every one of Australia’s 534,000 trucks fitted with special tracking devices.

“There needs to be much better consultation about how much this plan would cost the industry and the economy. Official figures show the plan would drag Australia backwards: it could have economic benefits of minus $500 million. Frankly, it needs to be put back in the drawer until there is a proven business case.”

Mr Simon paid tribute to the work of the outgoing Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese.

“During his six years in the infrastructure portfolio, Mr Albanese oversaw the construction or upgrading of 7,500 kilometres of roads, including the completion of the Hume Highway duplication,” Mr Simon said.

“On his watch, the federal government started funding truck rest areas for the first time, with 95 new rest areas or rest area upgrades now completed. He oversaw the creation of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and introduced excellent arrangements for consulting with the industry.”

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