ATA welcomes carbon tax decision

The Kevin Rudd announcement of the move away from the carbon tax to a carbon pricing scheme has been welcomed by the ATA. The changes are expected to reduce the extra trucking operators would have paid for fuel after July 1, 2014, from an estimated 6.8 cents/litre to just 1.6 cents/litre. This is due to the proposal trucks would no longer be exempt from the carbon pricing scheme after that date.

“The Government’s original plan would have had a devastating effect on many trucking businesses. Its decision to move to a floating carbon price twelve months early would still see an increase in the fuel tax paid by trucking operators, but it would be much more bearable,” said ATA Chairman, David Simon. “I want to congratulate Prime Minister Rudd and the Government for listening to the concerns raised by the public and business groups about the carbon tax.

“It’s a great result for trucking operators when you compare it to the Government’s original plan. The ATA helped deliver it through a sustained lobbying effort, including our 2013 election campaign.”

In the longer term, the ATA are continuing to campaign for both trucks and trains to be exempted from the carbon trading scheme permanently.They argue the imposition of a carbon price would not change behaviour in the freight transport sector.

“As an example, the Government expects trucking businesses to respond to the tax by switching to alternative fuels like biodiesel,” said Simon. “The industry cannot make this switch, because many truck engine manufacturers recommend against using fuel with more than five per cent biodiesel in their engines. As a result, the carbon tax would just raise costs for small trucking businesses. Ultimately, it would raise costs for everyone, because every item on the shelves of every supermarket is delivered by truck.

“As a first step, the Government needs to work harder with the states to enable the industry to use high productivity vehicles like B-triples and super B-doubles. A B-triple is a prime mover with three trailers linked by turntables. A trucking business that switched from using semitrailers to B-triples could reduce its fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 31 per cent.”

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