EDITORIAL: Coalitions grandstanding doesnt delay cost pressures

By: Jason Whittaker


Is Warren Truss the new hero of the trucking industry? Or is the shadow Transport Minister simply playing politics to

Is Warren Truss the new hero of the trucking industry? Or is the shadow Transport Minister simply playing politics to oppose the inevitable?

The truth is somewhere in between. While the Coalition’s decision to block legislation to impose an increase in the fuel excise offers some sort of reprieve for trucking operators, it only provides false hope to an industry that must continue to prepare for significant cost increases.

Any scrutiny of the decision by transport ministers to hike truck charges is welcome. The Federal Government needs to explain why it has singled out the trucking industry by indexing the tax on diesel and not fuel, and provide assurances that the significantly deeper pool of revenue it will collect from the industry will be spent on the road infrastructure on which it was collected.

Truss is right to hold the Government to account and push for the indexation to be scrapped. And it must continue to scrutinise the accounts to ensure the extra revenue doesn't disappear down, as one trucking representative puts it, the black hole of consolidated revenue.

But the Coalition's grandstanding on the issue, a hypocritical move given its previous support for higher charges, doesn't change the uncomfortable truth that the trucking industry must pay more in the future.

And it delays the important work in preparing customers and parties up and down the supply chain to wear higher rates as a result of the cost increases.

One way or the other, the Government will pass its legislation before January when the diesel excise hike hits. Truss would do better to concede defeat and help the trucking industry get the biggest bang for its buck.

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