ATA backs Morrison meeting to bear fruit


Response to new PM comes as ALC farewells Fletcher

ATA backs Morrison meeting to bear fruit
Scott Morrison

 

A recent meeting with Scott Morrison has the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) hopeful that his prime ministership will come with an insight into trucking industry and its need for regulatory and tax reform.

Meanwhile, as the dust starts to settle on the Liberal leadership upheaval and ministerial reshuffle, the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has amplified its hopes for the future as cities minister Paul Fletcher departs the freight transport scene.

ATA chair Geoff Crouch is bullish about the industry’s outlook under Morrison’s national leadership.

"Prime Minister Morrison understands the trucking industry and its vital role in the Australian economy," Crouch says.

"On behalf of the ATA, I want to congratulate Mr Morrison on his election. He’ll be a great prime minister.

"We discussed a host of issues including the drought, the need for regulatory and tax reform, truck charges and small business payment terms.

"The need for truck permit approvals is blocking growth and investment in the Australian economy.

"It’s even making it harder for Australia to respond to the drought, because the rules for transporting hay are different in each state.

"The national truck laws have failed to deliver regulatory reform and the consistency we need. Mr Morrison has heard our argument that we need an independent review of the laws, with a strong focus on bringing route permit approvals into the 21st century.

"The Government is looking at setting up an independent price regulator for truck road user and registration charges.

When we met, we told Mr Morrison that the independent regulator must also have power over toll road and landside port charges. Local councils should not be able to impose their own charges.

"The trucking industry consists overwhelmingly of small businesses. All too often, they end up as financiers for large companies because of one sided payment terms, but without the sharp suits and trailing commissions. Small trucking businesses should be paid within 30 days; we said the government needs to act.

"The ATA and our members look forward to working with Mr Morrison and his team."

Fletcher’s move was greeted by a ‘thank you’ and his replacement Alan Tudge a ‘welcome’ from the ALC.

Of the latter, ALC interim CEO Lachlan Benson says: "We particularly welcome the inclusion of population policy in the new Minister’s responsibilities, given that population growth is inextricably linked to the nation’s growing freight task and many of the challenges faced by freight logistics operators, including road congestion."

"Having a single minister responsible for infrastructure and population at the Commonwealth level is a sensible approach that will help facilitate better outcomes for this industry."


 

Read about who won what the ministerial reshuffle, here


On Fletcher, Benson reflects on his extensive engagement with ALC during his time as urban infrastructure and cities minister.

"Minister Fletcher’s detailed understanding of infrastructure issues, particularly corridor protection and using data and technology to enhance our planning processes, have been critical to developing more freight-friendly cities," Benson says in a statement.

"Minister Fletcher was particularly committed to engaging with the freight logistics industry to help develop a fairer and more sustainable model for road pricing in Australia."

"He was similarly instrumental in progressing development of the Western Sydney Airport and the planning of the surrounding aerotropolis, which will become a key logistics hub as Western Sydney continues to grow in the years ahead.

"These initiatives will be vital to securing enhanced supply chain efficiency and safety – and ALC will be working to make sure that the new Morrison government maintains the momentum on these crucial projects."

The ALC also welcomed the addition of regional development to infrastructure and transport minister Michael McCormack’s existing portfolio responsibilities.

"This is particularly fitting given the crucial role the Inland Rail project will play in supporting regional economic growth as construction gets underway," Benson says

 

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