Push on for carbon tax compensation beyond trucking

ALC writes to prime minister asking for carbon tax exemption on trucks to extend to rail, aviation and maritime sectors

Push on for carbon tax compensation beyond trucking
Push on for carbon tax compensation beyond trucking
July 20, 2011

The peak logistics lobby group is pushing for the carbon tax exemption on trucks to be extended to the rail, aviation and maritime sectors.

The Australian Logistics Council, which counts Toll, Linfox, Asciano and QR among its members, has written to Prime Minister Julia Gillard asking her to rethink the carbon tax package before it goes to Parliament.

In his letter, which also went to other parliamentary stakeholders, ALC CEO Michael Kilgariff says all transport modes should be treated equally under the tax. He says a carbon price should not discriminate between the road, rail, maritime and aviation sectors.

"ALC supports the decision to exempt heavy vehicles from a carbon price until 2014, however, we believe this measure should be applied consistently across the transport modes to ensure an equal playing field in the freight transport sector," Kiglariff says.

The rail, aviation and maritime industries will begin paying higher fuel prices once the tax begins on July 1 next year.

"This is two years before heavy vehicles will be required to pay an equivalent price, and that is assuming a future parliament actually approves measures to reduce the fuel tax credit heavy vehicles can receive," Kilgariff says.

He believes the government’s decision to solely compensate the trucking industry could distort the choice of transport mode used to freight goods and disadvantage the sectors that could offer the greatest emissions savings.

"Treating energy efficient transport modes such as rail differently to heavy vehicles is in effect contrary to the carbon price’s primary objective to reduce Australia’s overall carbon emissions," Kilgariff says.

His comments echo those of Toll Managing Director Paul Little, who this week raised concerns about the carbon tax.

Trucking operators will pay almost 7 cents more for diesel from July 1, 2014 when the carbon tax is applied to the industry.

The Australian Trucking Association pushed for a complete exemption, while the Transport Workers Union used the announcement of the tax to argue for the introduction of safe rates.

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