ATA backs emissions trading

ATA backs Rudd Government's decision to include fuel in its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

The peak trucking body is backing the Rudd Government's proposed emissions trading scheme, saying it is essential fuel is included as opposed to greater regulations.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has released its submission to the Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

The submission reiterates the lobby group's position that it is better to require trucking companies to buy carbon permits rather than being forced to upgrade their vehicles or install new technology to curb their emissions output.

The ATA's submission says raising the price of fuel is the best way forward because any increase borne by operators can be passed onto customers. As such, the submission says companies and customers are free to determine how to deal with the increased costs as a result of responding to climate change.

Although the Government's climate change adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, recommends an increase of almost six cents a litre in th price of fuel when emissions trading begins, ATA Chairman Trevor Martyn says it is better than the alternative.

"The alternative would be more regulation in the form of stringent engine requirements or attempts to force our customers to transport their freight by rail or sea, even if those transport modes did not meet their business requirements," Martyn says.

However, the Government has committed to freezing the fuel tax by taking a cent off it for every cent increase as a result of emissions trading.

However, Martyn says the Government must ensure the cent-for-cent cut is implemented as a separate policy from the road user charge to ensure the industry continues to make its contribution to the road network.

"The road user charge is set to ensure that the industry pays our way on the road system. The emissions trading offset needs to be implemented through a separate legislative instrument, so our contribution to the road system remains clear, transparent and indisputable," he says.

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