Business deregulation plans will benefit trucking: ATA

By: Jason Whittaker

Changes to business reporting and registration will benefit trucking operators, particularly owner-drivers, according to the industry lobby. Last week’s Council of

Changes to business reporting and registration will benefit trucking operators, particularly owner-drivers, according to the industry lobby.

Last week’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting agreed to a new business name registration system, claimed to be a "one-stop online shop" for businesses to interact with government.

The measures mean business can apply for their business name and Australian Business Number in one step.

Importantly for the trucking industry, businesses operating in more than one State will no longer need to register separately in each jurisdiction, leading to savings in registration fees.

"The business names system will especially benefit owner-drivers who use a business name and currently have to register it in every state where they work," ATA Chairman Trevor Martyn says.

While welcome, Martyn says the industry will need every help in reducing compliance burden.

"These reforms will deliver useful reductions in paperwork, but they are small gains compared to the compliance burden that the industry will face from September with the introduction of the new fatigue management laws," he says.

A new standard business reporting program was also agreed by COAG that governments claim will "radically streamline" the myriad of financial reporting requirements on businesses through a new online system.

The Commonwealth is committing $243 million to this program over four years, and business is expected to save around $800 million each year once it is fully implemented.

Meanwhile, COAG took another step in the move towards harmonising occupational health and safety regimes at the meeting on Thursday.

Governments say they have recognised legitimate concerns about workplace safety and reaffirmed their requirement that there be no reduction or compromise in workplace safety.

Governments have also agreed to develop a national trade licensing system that will remove inconsistencies across state borders and allow for a much more mobile workforce, something the ATA has welcomed.

"The trucking industry will benefit from COAG’s decision to include dangerous goods licensing in the national system," Martyn says.

The new system will see a national approach to the licensing of a range of trades, including land transport and maritime occupations.

Small Business Minister Craig Emerson says the initiative will result in 800 work-related licences reduced to 100.

The scheme is expected to be introduced from December.

The trucking industry is keenly waiting on the outcome of an agreement by transport ministers to introduce a national heavy vehicle drivers’ licence and vehicle registration.

"What we really need is a national regulation and registration system for heavy vehicles and national licensing system for truck drivers," Martyn says.

Meanwhile, changes to conveyancing laws are expected to reduce the costs of buying and selling property by $250 million a year.

Governments have agreed to a national platform to settle all property transactions electronically.

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