Putting incentives in to road reform

The Australian Trucking Association has urged the Government to include road transport reform in the areas covered by its proposed financial incentives for the states and territories.

The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has met his state and territory counterparts to discuss providing financial incentives in return for reforms that increase productivity in areas like skills, water and infrastructure.

The ATA CEO, Stuart St Clair, says the states and territories weren’t doing enough to carry out the CoAG road transport reforms, which were agreed in 2005.

“Australia’s freight task is growing rapidly, and the industry needs regulatory reforms so we can use higher productivity vehicles that are safer and more environmentally friendly,” he says

“But progress on the CoAG reforms has been slow.”

“We have performance based standards, but we don’t have a mapped network that matches them. We do have a B-triple network, but it doesn’t link the east coast capitals.”

“And we have new fatigue management rules coming in September, but there aren’t enough heavy vehicle rest areas.,” St Clair says.

“By contrast, most of the road transport reforms included in the original National Competition Policy were carried out successfully.”

“Of the 147 reform elements across the Australian Government and the states and territories, 143 were satisfactorily implemented, including a better dangerous goods code, better driver licensing and common vehicle standards.”

“These original reforms were successful because the Australian Government provided the states and territories with $5.3 billion in competition policy payments to carry them out,” St Clair says.

“It’s time for the Australian Government to give the states and territories a strong financial reason to press on with the reforms we need.”

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