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ALRTA’s Schmidt launches action document for Canberra

New ALRTA President Liz Schmidt has hit the road running with a strategy launch aimed at federal politicians

August 15, 2013

New Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) President Liz Schmidt has hit the road running with a strategy launch aimed at federal politicians.

Getting Regional Australia ‘Back on the Road’ is an advice document for the incoming Federal Government “based around improving road access, fairer road user charging and injecting confidence into the regional business environment”, Schmidt states.

“Getting regional Australia back on the road requires a reinvigorated effort on three fronts,” she adds.

“We must improve road access for higher productivity vehicles (HPVs) such as B-doubles, B-triples and road trains if we are to safely and efficiently deal with a forecast doubling of the freight task by 2030.

“This will require bold changes to the way that road access decisions are made at all levels of government and significant changes to the way that critical infrastructure is planned and provided.

“We must improve the fairness of road user charging for heavy vehicles.

“Decreasing high upfront registration fees and proportionately increasing fuel-based charges will improve cash flow in small transport businesses, reduce cross subsidies between vehicle types and establish a closer relationship between the costs imposed on the road network and the charges levied on individual operators.

“It is also vital that the Federal Government acts to improve the business environment in which rural transport companies operate.

“Measures that would immediately improve business confidence include abolition of the carbon tax, a more reasonable approach to off-shore animal welfare issues, establishment of a national ramp standard and an investment incentive for small rural businesses.”

The document highlights six areas for special attention from an incoming government:

  • Recognition that higher HPVs are a necessary part of the freight challenge solution
  • Assessing and reporting on the current state of the road network
  • Integrating data collection, demand forecasting and decision making
  • A dedicated program for the identification of critical bottlenecks that exist now along with a commitment to fixing them
  • Progressive improvements in the number, location and quality of HPV friendly rest areas
  • An
    incremental expansion of the HPV network as a key goal in all long-term road network planning.

ALRTA says a better charging regime can come from decreasing up-front registration fees and an increasing the fuel-based road user charge, along with measures to prevent the overcharging of road trains.

It has sent the document to “key”
federal politicians requesting a response and will publicise the reacton.

The document can be accessed here.

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