ATA Chairman calls for trucking to remain exempt from Carbon Tax

In a nationally televised speech, the Chairman of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), David Simon, urged the Gillard Government to make an election commitment not to extend the Carbon Tax to apply to fuel used by commercial road transport.

“Extending the Carbon Tax to trucking would reduce the industry’s fuel tax credits by almost seven cents per litre. That’s a 27 per cent tax hike,” Simon told the audience at the National Press Club in Canberra.

“It would cost the industry more than half a billion dollars in the first year. It would be a massive shock for many trucking businesses, and they would not be able to respond.”

Truck operators received a two-year reprieve when the Carbon Tax was introduced last July and are scheduled to incur a 6.85 cents per litre hike in their cost of diesel from July 1, 2014.

Mr Simon went on to explain that the Clean Energy Package, with the Carbon Tax at its core, was based on the assumption that businesses would respond by reducing their use of energy or switch to renewable energy sources.

“Trucking businesses only have limited opportunities to reduce their energy use. Switching to renewable is not generally an option,” he said.

“The Government projects that the use of biodiesel will increase rapidly from the end of the decade … but the Carbon Tax on trucking would take effect in 2014, not the end of the decade,” he said.

“Seventy two per cent of trucking business have only one truck. They are price takers, not price makers. This would be a tragedy for the people involved.”

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