Productivity growth has hit regulatory brick wall says ATA

Peak body says further efficiency gains will now depend primarily on road reform

Productivity growth has hit regulatory brick wall says ATA
Christopher Melham says the transport industry's productivity levels have plateaued


The transport industry has reached the maximum levels of productivity available under current Federal and State road regulations, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) believes.

ATA CEO Christopher Melham released the organisation’s submission to the Federal Government’s competition policy review today, saying further productivity enhancements will require concentrated road reform.

"Between 1971 and 2007, trucking industry productivity increased six-fold due to the uptake of high productivity vehicles like B-doubles," he says.

"But the industry’s productivity has [now] plateaued due to government regulation and policy decisions."

The submission makes several recommendations, including an overhaul of road permit charges that would make the sector revenue-neutral.

"The ATA also urges the government carefully consider plans to encourage more use of rail in freight, such that these inducements do not unfairly penalise road transporters.

The ATA also says federal and state governments need to work together on the Heavy Vehicle National Law to give benefits across a range of accreditation schemes, not just the national program.

Melham says the submission recommends implementing road planning and funding reforms to optimise road infrastructure funding efficiency.

"The industry needs the right roads at the right price, with the right level of access," he adds.

"We want to know that funding for road infrastructure provides value for money, with better processes to assess how effectively it is spent.

"This would include improving governance arrangements for public infrastructure projects, project benchmarking, and additional cost benefit analysis."

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