Include fuel in ETS or trucking industry will suffer: ATA

By: Jason Whittaker


Ross Garnaut’s Climate Change Review has reignited concerns in the trucking industry over diesel prices as well as claims of

Ross Garnaut’s Climate Change Review has reignited concerns in the trucking industry over diesel prices as well as claims of an exodus to other transport modes if fuel is excluded from emissions trading.

Garnaut says the Rudd Government must include transport and fuel in its emissions trading scheme, leading Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chairman Trevor Martyn to say diesel prices will skyrocket on top of record-high levels.

But while the price of fuel may rise as much as 10 cents a litre under emissions trading, Martyn says it must be included in the scheme.

"The alternative is more regulation, with stringent engine requirements and attempts to force customers to transport their freight by rail or sea, even if those transport modes do not meet their business requirements," he says.

Despite suffering under increased fuel costs—which have gone up by 50 cents a litre since October—Martyn says operators can still remain viable as long as they review their costs each week, negotiate freight rates with customers and refuse to accept jobs that do not pay enough.

"These three steps will enable operators to get through the rapid price increases that are battering the industry now. They are also the key to getting through the introduction of emissions trading in 2010," Martyn says.

With fuel in the scheme, he says operators can pass on increased costs rather than trying to grapple with another set of regulations.

"The advantage of emissions trading is that the industry and our customers will be able to make our own decisions about how to deal with the increased price of fuel," Martyn says.

But emissions trading may also fast track moves to higher productivity vehicles, with Chairman Trevor Martyn saying the ATA will be ramping up efforts to push governments to allow the industry to use B-triples between capital cities.

The trucks can carry more freight than conventional combinations, meaning fewer trucks are needed on the road, in turn slashing transport emissions.

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