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ATA backs AdBlue action as HVIA seeks broad approach

Swift move to head off shortages sought along with round-table talks with stakeholders


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has swung behind member body the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) in calling for urgent federal action to tackle a looming shortage of AdBlue.

The effects of the diesel exhaust fluid shortfall, due to Chinese export bans spurred by that country’s own urea shortages, is starting to be felt wherever modern heavy diesel engines are used.

ATA chief of staff Bill McKinley said the organisation had been working closely with member body associations, AdBlue suppliers and truck manufacturers to develop solutions that could be put to the Australian Government.

“The Government needs to provide more support to Australian AdBlue suppliers in their efforts to source urea overseas,” McKinley said, while noting the value of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) being involved.

“The Government and the NHVR also need to work domestically with truck manufacturers and operators to develop ways to deal with the shortage as it gets worse.

“It can’t wait another week. It certainly can’t wait until after Christmas.”

Read NatRoad’s initial call for discussion on the shortfall, here

They are joined in voicing concern by Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA), which wants deliberations on the best way to overcome the problem.

HVIA CEO Todd Hacking said his organisation had hoped to avoid exacerbating industry fears and any trend towards panic buying.

“Whilst it is true, most AdBlue distributors are being cautious and rationing supply, the operators who had heard of the issue have been trying to bulk-buy the commodity,” Hacking noted. 

“No Australian needs an analogy to know where that situation ends.

“HVIA has been working with the Department of Infrastructure and the NHVR towards ensuring a coordinated approach. 

“We called for an industry-wide round table, to ensure that all affected stakeholders could table their concerns, ensure the facts were clear, and solutions and contingencies developed.

“Our hope was to calm concerns through a factual communique for the industry.”

HVIA had addresses the issue publically once it had entered the public domain.

“This is unfortunate,” Hacking said. 

“Often, effective advocacy is not about being the loudest in the room or the first to issue a media statement.

“It is far more about bringing all affected parties to the table to strategise and tackle the issues before they become a problem. 

“HVIA still believes there is a role for an industry-wide roundtable. 

“We are confident this can be achieved relatively expeditiously, and by doing so, we are confident solutions can be developed.

“By getting key stakeholders together, we can maturely plan our way through any supply challenges before it overwhelms the freight transport industry, whilst also allaying any unnecessary concerns.  

“We have had plenty of opportunity to demonstrate to Government and the community that we keep the country moving. 

“The industry has done an outstanding job over the past two years, and we all hope this continues.

“I urge HVIA members not to get suckered into perpetuating rumours.

“This is big issue, and a coordinated effort is the only way to deliver the best strategic outcome for the industry and the country, but the first step is to stay calm.”


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