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VTA welcomes budget cost relief

The VTA CEO welcomes the dropping of fuel excise rates, but warns it should only be temporary

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is welcoming relief on fuel and other costs contained in the Federal budget delivered last night.

The association will advocate for freight drivers to be added to a list of priority workers eligible for new apprenticeship support.

The VTA says it’s reassured by factors such as the cutting of the fuel excise.

“The halving of the fuel excise from 44 to 22 cents per litre for the next six months will provide immediate relief for road transport operators on their greatest expense other than wages,” VTA CEO Peter Anderson says.

Although the fuel excise lowering didn’t coincide with the VTA’s call for a road user charge reduction to ease costs, it says these new relieving measures must be temporary.

“While we would have preferred a road user charge reduction to ease supply chain cost pressures, we welcome the lower fuel excise, but note it must remain temporary so as not to jeopardise the long term and much needed transport infrastructure it is intended to fund,” Anderson says.

“It is important that operators factor the temporary nature of the reduction into their costs, with the hope that external factors that have pushed prices higher will ease later in the year.”

Also contained in the budget were important measures to increase workforce participation and address skills shortages, including funding for apprentices and employers working in priority industries to help offset training costs.

RELATED ARTICLE: Anderson slams VTU planned fuel strike

Anderson is hopeful transport companies can qualify for this subsidy scheme to help ease costs while training more skilled workers.

“The VTA will be advocating very strongly for heavy vehicle drivers to be added to this priority list given the labour shortages that are rife across the industry,” Anderson says.

“The pathway to professionalising the heavy vehicle driver is through apprenticeships, underscoring the importance of the government recognising freight drivers as a priority occupation.”

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