Fuel tax credits remain

Yesterday’s budget revealed that trucking operators will continue to receive fuel tax credits.

Operators in the industry receive fuel tax credits of 15.543 cents per litre on the fuel they use, provided they meet one of four environmental conditions. The fuel tax credit rate is set so the trucking industry pays for its use of the road system, based on figures calculated independently by the National Transport Commission.

Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chief Executive, Stuart St Clair, said the Government had made the right decision to keep the fuel tax credit system, despite the pressure on the Budget and intensive lobbying from its partner in government, the Greens, and the environmental movement.

“Only this evening, the Australian Conservation Foundation attacked the Government for not doing away with our fuel tax credits. They want to abolish them because of their wrong-headed belief that more freight would be transported by rail,” he said.

“But there isn’t a railway siding at the back of your local supermarket. Their policy would simply push up prices for everyone who buys goods delivered by truck – and that’s every single person in Australia.”

Mr St Clair also welcomed the announcement of extra funding for Australia’s roads, including an extra billion dollars for the Pacific Highway. The Government will invest $28 billion in roads over the six years of its current Nation Building Program, as well as $28 million in heavy vehicle rest areas in 2011-12.

The Government will also invest $25.3 million to continue work on developing the national regulators for heavy vehicles, the rail sector, and the maritime sector.

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