ATA hits back at rail slights on trucking

Crouch cast comments as misrepresentation and inaccuracy

ATA hits back at rail slights on trucking
Geoff Crouch


It doesn’t happen often but the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) can feel goaded to respond to constant rail industry complaints about its plight compared to that of road freight.

Recent comments on the subject has spurred ATA chair Geoff Crouch to insist the rail industry "focus on improving its level of service and stop grandstanding about the productivity of the trucking industry".

Crouch’s intervention comes as rail executives met this week at the Inland Rail conference.

"The Government’s own business case for inland rail shows it will not recover the net present value of its construction costs during the next 50 years," Crouch says. 

"And yet the rail industry has the hide to argue in the media – wrongly – that the trucking industry does not pay its way on the roads.

 "The National Transport Commission, an independent government body, has found that trucks are overcharged ‒ not undercharged ‒ for their use of the roads, with the projected over-recovery estimated at $189.5 million in 2018-19. 

"Trucks pay more than their fair share through a fuel-based road user charge and very high registration charges, and unlike rail, Australian trucking is dominated by small and family businesses." 

The ATA has reacted to rail industry goading in the past, here

Crouch said that Pacific National’s director of corporate affairs was wrong when he said on the Nine Network that Australians wanted freight carried by rail, rather than trucks. 

"In the real world, where Australians actually live, we’re worried about the rising cost of living," he adds.

"A recent independent report from Deloitte Access Economics shows that implementing more productive truck access on our roads would save a typical family $452 each year. 

"Rail doesn’t serve our local supermarkets, local farms or the majority of Australian businesses and consumers. 

"The trucking industry supports rail.

"We want rail to do well, and to do that it needs to focus on improving its own level of service and stop trying to hold back the productivity of our industry."


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