It was well publicised in the lead up to the Federal Budget, but comments from across the trucking industry have seen the infrastructure spending in the Federal Budget welcomed, as it boosts road infrastructure and safety spending.
“Australian businesses – including the hundreds of transport companies that have kept our economy moving during a pandemic – are the backbone of our nation,” said Peter Anderson, VTA CEO. “In this Budget, the Government has rightly recognised that after a year of misery businesses need meaningful incentives that will inspire confidence to invest in themselves and future workers.”
Recognising the need to incentivise employment opportunities for Australians left unemployed by the pandemic, the Government is also introducing a new JobMaker hiring credit that will provide $4 billion in cash incentives for businesses to hire certain employees aged 16-35. This is additional to $1.2 billion in JobTrainer wage subsidies to stimulate business investments in apprentices and trainees and set young workers on a career path in trade work that is vital to keep supply chains moving.
Funding is being delivered to critical transport infrastructure projects in every state and territory, including:
- an additional $490.6 million for the Coffs Harbour Bypass in New South Wales;
- $528 million for upgrades to the Shepparton and Warrnambool rail lines in Victoria;
- $750 million for Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector in Queensland;
- an additional $80.0 million for the Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network in Western Australia;
- $136 million to progress the Main South Road Duplication in South Australia;
- $65 million for the Tasman Bridge Upgrade in Tasmania;
- $46.6 million for National Network Highway Upgrades in the Northern Territory; and
- $87.5 million for the Molonglo River Bridge in the Australian Capital Territory.
“This is a massive win for the ATA and our members,” said David Smith, Australian Trucking Association Chair. “Businesses with a turnover of up to $5 billion will be able to write off the full value of any new eligible asset they purchase for their business. For small and medium businesses, this will also include second-hand assets.
“This is a game changer that will unlock investment in upgraded truck fleets. It will support jobs and put newer, safer and greener trucks on the road. The importance of its application to trucking was highlighted by the Treasurer, who said in his budget speech that: ‘A trucking company will be able to upgrade its fleet.’
“The new support announced will extend support to 30 June 2022. The ATA also welcomes new support for businesses with a turnover up to $5 billion to temporarily offset tax losses against previous profits and the new JobMaker Hiring Credit to support creating jobs for young Australians.”
Apart from the infrastructure spending in the Federal Budget welcomed by the trucking industry, the Feds also committed an additional $2 billion for road safety which will support upgrades including the installation of wire rope safety barriers that can reduce accidents caused by running off the road or swerving into the wrong lane and rumble strips to alert drivers and riders that they are moving out of their lane.
This additional investment builds on the $500 million which is already being delivering for targeted road safety works.
To monitor and evaluate the progress in this area, the Government said it is also investing $5.5 million to establish a National Road Safety Data Hub, to establish the first nationally available road safety data collection to assess the effectiveness of road safety efforts by all Australian governments as they move towards the nationally agreed target of zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.