The trucking industry will face some very challenging times over the next year or two, says the Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Local Government, Warren Truss.
“It’s my job to point out Labor’s transport flaws, but some very dark clouds are hovering, and some of these matters of concern are already on the public record,” Truss says.
He defends the Coalition’s decision to block the Government’s proposal to increase diesel fuel excise and registration fees for FIRS and ACT registered vehicles.
“Until the last election, the Coalition had refused to back the proposed changes to recover road expenditure attributable to heavy vehicles, especially while the calculations were subject to such reasonable scepticism.”
“We did however accept the general principle that the trucking industry should pay its way — something I believe the sector also accepts,” he says.
“The Nationals and Liberals in Coalition do not agree with the Transport Minister’s approach.”
“Quite apart from the inflationary and anti-productivity aspects of the proposals, one provision of the new arrangements would see the Commonwealth lose its discretion to dissent from the Ministerial Council.”
“The Commonwealth would be unable to determine, in its own right, the charges that should apply to Commonwealth-registered vehicles.”
“Labor state and territory government revenue will rise substantially as a result of increased fuel tax and registration charges, with the annual revenue stream to Labor state governments growing by $168 million.”
“Some may believe that this extra revenue to Labor governments will flow back to your industry through an improvement in transport infrastructure,” Truss says.
“I ask you: when has that ever happened before? The answer is never.”