The trucking industry, as a whole, is notoriously bad at getting the word out there, and it continues to be a problem trucking needs to confront. However, this week we have seen some real cut-through for the trucking industry with stories appearing in the Fairfax press and online.
The story was headlined as ‘exclusive’ on the website, highlighting a bungle on the part of the Morrison government, a bungle which looks destined to increase the costs of goods in the shops of Australia.
The article talks about a letter, which was ‘obtained’ by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, sent by David Smith, Australian Trucking Association Chair, to the Prime Minister. In the letter, David points out that by dropping the fuel excise for cars, but not taking into account the fuel tax credit for the trucking industry, we missed out on any relief from higher fuel prices.
Of course, this kind of thing coming out during an election campaign, means the story gets a good run in the media and can lead to some awkward questions from the media for Scomo. Also, because the pollies are in election mode, it will be forgotten tomorrow.
I am not going to get into the whole party politics thing, but the way the story was run shows we can get some of the basic facts into the mainstream media and that we can advance the general public’s level of understanding about our issues.
Once you get through the sensationalist first couple of paragraphs of the story, there are substantial quotes from David’s letter. these highlight and explain exactly how the trucking industry struggles to pass on increased costs in a very competitive market.
The ‘bungle’ which saw the fuel excise decrease not apply to the trucking industry in any meaningful way is explained simply. The kicker is, the story tells us that the issue is likely to put $20 a week on the normal family grocery bill.
This is a nice neat explanation of how the power dynamics work in the road transport sector, explained in simple terms to a mass audience.
This is something which should be celebrated by us. The issue is unlikely to effect the end of result of this ‘too close to call’ election, but if just a few typical consumers read the article and now have a better understanding of how important the trucking industry is to the country, then we have had a win.