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Industry welcomes incoming Labor Government

VTA and RA are calling on collective effort to see improvements within the transport sector

Roads Australia (RA) and the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) have congratulated Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese and his incoming Labor Government on their victory in the 2022 Federal Election.

RA CEO Michael Kilgariff says new PM Anthony Albanese’s transport and infrastructure expertise in transport infrastructure will help the industry to progress its reform priorities.

“During the previous Labor government, the now-Prime Minister was instrumental in establishing Infrastructure Australia (IA) and developing key national transport strategies that provided solid foundations upon which successive governments have built,” Kilgariff says.

“At a time when our industry is delivering a record pipeline of transport infrastructure projects across the nation, it will be more important than ever for decision-makers in the new government to have an innate understanding of the challenges we face, particularly around capacity.”

VTA CEO Peter Anderson has called for renewal and transport industry participants to come together and attain genuine reform that will benefit the industry.

“There is a tremendous opportunity to attain positive structural reform in our industry under this incoming Labor Government, especially in consideration of its commitment to act on Senate recommendations for an independent body to set universal, binding standards to make the transport industry safer, fairer and more viable,” Anderson.

“The VTA provided numerous recommendations to the Sterle Report and with Labor in government we look forward to working constructively with them and other stakeholders so that the genuine reform we have been working towards can be enacted.

“If we all work together and contribute constructively to the formation of an independent body, we will all benefit from the protection of universal standards.

“With the emergence of the gig economy and the Amazon’s of the world, now is the time to act to prevent a further erosion of standards.”

Kilgariff says RA looks forward to working with the new PM and his incoming ministerial team to deliver progress across these areas.

“As the new Prime Minister frequently noted throughout the election campaign, lifting national productivity growth is central to improving economic prosperity and incomes for all Australians,” he says.

“RA is therefore also pleased that key elements of the Labor Government’s policy platform reflect views and recommendations we have already put forward as part of our submission to the 2022 Productivity Inquiry, which is ongoing.”

“We encourage the new Federal Government to pursue that objective via the means put forward in our submission.

“These include procurement reform and addressing skills issues, hastening the uptake of zero emissions vehicles, embedding greater sustainability and circular economy opportunities in the construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure and making transport infrastructure more resilient in the face of climate change.”

Anderson is also calling on the incoming government to heed the calls of the VTA and the broader transport industry to correct the imbalance created when the halving of the fuel excise in the recent Federal Budget was not fully passed on to the transport industry.

“Operators only received a fuel saving of 4.3 cents per litre because of their inability to claim the Fuel Tax Credit, which provides no ability for them to create any meaningful savings for customers and consumers,” Anderson says.

“After wages, fuel is the second biggest direct expense for transport companies, accounting for around a third of costs.

“And with freight margins already wafer thin and operators facing higher labour costs because of driver shortages, the paltry saving cannot be passed on.”

Anderson thanks outgoing Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz for his constructive efforts to bring about positive change to the industry over the past three years.

“Scott was always willing to listen to the concerns of the VTA and the broader industry and we wish him well going forward,” he says.

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