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ALRTA meets with Treasury on Covid recovery options

Association makes case for Rural Transport Management Deposit Scheme


The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters’ Association (ALRTA) reports it has met with Federal Treasury officials this week to discuss the impacts of Covid-19 on rural transport and subsequent recovery options.
ALRTA secretary Grant Robins and executive director Mat Munro made ALRTA’s case on the introduction of a Rural Transport Management Deposit Scheme (RTMDS).

Robins says the association sees such a scheme as the best option to assist operators in managing seasonal fluctuations, natural disasters and other unforeseeable events.
“During 2019-20, Australian rural transport businesses were affected by unpredictable events including drought, fire, flood, closure of the live sheep export market and Covid-19,” he says.

“Severe economic impacts for transport operators can often arrive 12 months after direct government assistance has ceased due to the lag effect of re-stocking and re-sowing.”

ALRTA has previously taken income smoothing call to treasurer Josh Frydenberg

Primary producers have access to a Farm Management Deposit Scheme that allows tax-deductible deposits in ‘good years’ that can be withdrawn and taxed in later years, Robins says.

“A similar scheme could assist eligible rural transport businesses become more resilient.
“The scheme would be self-funded by its own beneficiaries.

“After a period of prolonged downturn, the rural sector is optimistic about the 2020-21 season following good rains across much of the country.

“Establishing the scheme now will provide an opportunity to prepare ahead of the next economic challenge.”


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