Truckers turn back on greenhouse lobby

ATA will leave a lobby group opposed to emissions trading after realising $19,048 membership was a waste of money

By Brad Gardner | June 18, 2010

The Australian Trucking Association will turn its back on a high-profile polluter group opposed to emissions trading, claiming it has failed to represent the industry’s interests.

Documents from the recent ATA council meeting leaked to ATN show the group spent $19,048 for a year’s membership to the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network.

The network is made up of coal, petroleum, cement, automotive and mining groups and campaigned heavily against the Rudd Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

"In its early days, it offered the prospect of being a forum for debating and expressing a broad spectrum of views by the energy consumption sectors," the documents say.

"However, its focus more recently has been on protecting the interests of energy intensive industries against overseas competitors, regardless of the consequences for the rest of the economy or the trucking industry."

According to the documents, the ATA achieved good results lobbying as a separate party to secure a deal for the trucking sector. It accuses the AIGN of being uninterested in the ATA's concerns and failing to articulate its point of view.

"The ATA has decided to discontinue its membership of the AIGN," ATA Government Relations Manager Bill McKinley says.

The group supported the CPRS, which was shelved due to Rudd's inability to get it through Parliament.

Under the scheme, fuel companies would need to buy permits to pollute and pass the costs down the chain.

One cent from the fuel excise would be cut for every one cent rise in the price of fuel from emissions trading for one year to give the industry time to adapt.

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