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Coalition tops ATAs election report card

With RSRT a key defining parameter, ATA rates Labor as the second and Greens as the third choice


The Liberal-National Coalition has ticked all the right boxes in Australian Trucking Association (ATA’s) 2016 election report card.

The trucking body’s national report, which was released today, assesses political parties and candidates against three main parameters – their take on the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT), practical measures to improve road safety, and supporting stronger trucking businesses.

While the Coalition received three out of three ticks, Labor received two and Greens bagged just one tick.

Reiterating its take on the RSRT and the minimum rates order, the ATA says the tribunal was a “disaster for truck owner-drivers”.

“Small trucking businesses subject to the RSRT’s price-fixing order found that it increased costs by 20-30 per cent,” ATA chair Noelene Watson.

“They could not compete, and their survival was at risk.

“Two independent reports found no proven link between price fixing and safety.

While acknowledging the past work and commitment of both the Coalition and Labor towards road safety, Watson warns that Labor has already indicated that it would bring back the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 (RSRO) or introduce a similar fixed-price mechanism in the industry.

“In this campaign, the trucking industry called on political parties and candidates to confirm they would not re-establish the RSRT or any similar price-fixing mechanism.

“The Coalition abolished the RSRT and has pledged not to re-establish it or anything like it.

“In contrast, the Labor Party would bring back a forum to fix prices in our industry.

“The Coalition would spend extra money on key road programs and an extra $4 million a year for truck safety measures.

“The Labor Party has a long record of investment in better roads and has emphasised its support for strong chain of responsibility laws.

“These laws are needed to hold our customers to account.”

Both Coalition and Labor received a tick for their support for stronger trucking businesses.

“The Coalition would reduce the fuel tax for trucks from 1 July 2016, as well as the company tax rate for businesses earning less than $10 million per year.

“Labor Leader Bill Shorten has confirmed that Labor would continue the fuel tax credits we get through the BAS system, despite the views of some of his caucus members.

“The Labor Party would also deliver tax cuts, but for businesses earning less than $2 million a year.”

The one tick for Greens was attributed to its support for an audit of truck driver training providers, ATA says.

“The Greens supported the RSRT and voted against its abolition,” Watson says.

“They want to take away the industry’s fuel tax credits, even though truck and bus operators are already overtaxed.”

Independent senators including Glenn Lazarus, Bob Day, Nick Xenophon and Jacqui Lambie received full marks for their take on industry issues.

“I ask everyone in the trucking industry to consider the ATA’s report cards as they decide how to vote on 2 July,” she says.
The ATA has also released state-specific report cards for Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. For more details, visit the ATA website.

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