Truss criticises trucking favouritism under ETS

Government accused of pandering to the trucking industry in favour of other greenhouse-friendly transport options

By Brad Gardner

The Federal Government’s rush to install an emissions trading scheme will unfairly favour the trucking industry, according to opposition spokesman on transport Warren Truss.

In his address to the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s annual dinner last night, Truss told attendees the Government risks introducing a "flawed" scheme that will slug efficient transport sectors with higher taxes while letting off greenhouse-intensive industries.

Truss questioned the logic behind taxing rail and coastal shipping while freezing the fuel excise for one year for the trucking industry.

He says the Government’s approach is unreasonable because it neglects the impact the rail, coastal shipping and aviation industries have on reducing emissions.

"If you put a container of groceries on a diesel truck from Melbourne to Sydney you will get an emissions trading scheme exemption. But if you put it on a coastal ship you don’t, unless the ship is on an international voyage," Truss says.

The Government intends to cut the diesel excise for the trucking industry by a cent for every one cent rise in fuel as a result of emissions trading.

During his speech, Truss also criticised the administrative burden the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will create, saying it will impose onerous reporting obligations on industries while creating a new bureaucracy to oversee its implementation.

"It is simply inevitable that such a rushed scheme will be flawed, probably fatally flawed like its European predecessor," Truss says.

He likens it to the Kyoto Protocol, arguing the scheme may do more harm than good.

"It be artificially contrived and therefore ripe for manipulation and will probably produce few if any real environmental benefits," Truss says.

Rather than taxing industries, Truss says the Government needs to support new technologies that slash greenhouse gas emissions.

Truss also reiterated the call for a global response to climate change, arguing it is the only way to ensure emissions are curbed and climate change is effectively addressed.

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