Peak bodies call for Instant Asset Write Off extension


HVIA and ATA see rare chance to make huge difference as NTI backs range of issues

Peak bodies call for Instant Asset Write Off extension
Todd Hacking and Ben Maguire at the launch of Parliamentary Friends of Trucks, Trailers, Transport & Logistics in November 2019

 

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) are jointly prosecuting the case for a conditional extension to the instant asset write-off (ISWO) scheme.

The two peak bodies emphasise such a move will provide a "once in a generation opportunity to improve road safety outcomes and productivity all whilst stimulating the economy and saving jobs".   

They have put the case to the federal government in a joint letter, requesting an extension to the Instant Asset Write Off scheme incentives announced during the federal government’s first wave of stimulus measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.   

HVIA chief executive Todd Hacking underlines both organisations had strong policy positions on improving heavy vehicle safety.   

"We believe that any increased asset threshold for heavy vehicles should only be available to purchases that have accompanying safety and productivity benefits," Hacking says.   

The temporary changes to the Instant Asset Write Off announced in early March extended the available instant asset write off from $30,000 to $150,000 but is due to expire on June 30.   

The letter proposes a revised scheme with an extension until December 31 and an increased threshold.   

It explains that transport operators are continuing to express nervousness to spending on capital equipment.


Read how instant asset write-off became part of the virus response, here


"More than 90 per cent of purchases in our industry are financed, so ensuring transport operators can get access to capital is an important aspect of equipment purchases," ATA chief executive Ben Maguire says.   

"This will only be possible once the economy is in recovery mode and operators are trading as normal.   

"Most of the fleet is held by small enterprises – and they were not able to use the stimulus before the pandemic hit."   

Hacking says the scheme and the accompanying 50 per cent bonus depreciation schedule had less than 10 days from their announcement to the dramatic escalation of the pandemic.   

"In order to kick-start the economy and increase business confidence the Instant Asset Write Off extension needs to be extended until at least 31 December 2020," he continues.   

"Our survey results show that operators and manufacturers did not have time to utilise the stimulus."  

Maguire says that also increasing the limit for truck purchases would have the dual benefit of positively altering the age of the fleet.   

"The ATA has suggested a threshold of $450,000 as this would ensure 100 per cent deductibility for most, if not all, heavy-duty trucks in Australia," he adds.   

HVIA supports the higher threshold subject to conditional eligibility.   

"We believe that our proposed eligibility criteria for the extended incentives, conditional on safety features, provides the opportunity for the biggest increase in safety and productivity in Australian heavy vehicle history," Hacking says.   

The push has backing from beyond the two associations.

"HVIA and the ATA have consulted with National Transport Insurance [NTI] who are supporters and partners of both organisations," Maguire says.   

"We have identified the features which would lead to the highest increase in safety outcomes according to their research.   

"We fundamentally believe this would be a massive win – not only for the economy but for the broader community as well."     

NTI

For NTI backing the peak bodies is part of a range of issues it is campaigning for.

"Operators are working tirelessly to ensure medical supplies and groceries are being delivered around Australia, and we advocate the need for transport and logistics to continue to be viewed as essential so these goods can reach those who need them," NTI CEO Tony Clark says.

Its recommendations include:

  • supporting industry campaigns to keep transport facilities open, clean and hygienic, to ensure fatigue is managed and drivers remain safe
  • making sure all freight is seen as essential so it gets to its destination
  • supporting HVIA  in its calls for all transport suppliers, repairer services and manufacturers to be viewed as essential, to ensure trucks remain working and on the road
  • stopping all increases in charges to transport operators during this unprecedented time
  • advocating to increase the asset write off threshold to be above $150,000 as truck costs exceed this amount.

NTI has also introduced its own initiatives for its customers.

"For those whose businesses have been impacted and are not currently operating their vehicles, work equipment or vessels, our Laid Up Cover is available to support them – as it always has been during times of need," Clark says.

"We’re embracing technology to ensure there are minimal impacts to assessments and repairs, and our repair managers are now conducting virtual assessments using smartphones and tablets.

"We know drivers and business owners are concerned about being able to access the parts they need should their vehicle need repairs so we’re staying in constant contact with manufacturers and dealerships to ensure we can get those replacement parts."

 

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