The Australian Trucking Association has awarded the Coalition three ticks out of three, and the Labor Party two ticks out of three, in its national report card for the 2016 election.
The ATA released its report cards today. The cards assess political parties and candidates against three issues: no Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, practical measures to improve road safety, and supporting stronger trucking businesses.
The Chair of the ATA, Noelene Watson, said the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) had been a disaster for truck owner-drivers.
“Small trucking businesses subject to the RSRT’s price-fixing order found that it increased costs by 20-30 per cent. They could not compete, and their survival was at risk. Two independent reports found no proven link between price fixing and safety,” Mrs Watson said.
“In this campaign, the trucking industry called on political parties and candidates to confirm they would not re-establish the RSRT or any similar price-fixing mechanism.
“The Coalition abolished the RSRT and has pledged not to re-establish it or anything like it. In contrast, the Labor Party would bring back a forum to fix prices in our industry,” she said.
Mrs Watson said both sides of politics were committed to road safety.
“The Coalition would spend extra money on key road programs and an extra $4 million a year for truck safety measures. The Labor Party has a long record of investment in better roads and has emphasised its support for strong chain of responsibility laws. These laws are needed to hold our customers to account,” she said.
Mrs Watson said the ATA had awarded both the Coalition and Labor a tick for their support for stronger trucking businesses.
“The Coalition would reduce the fuel tax for trucks from 1 July 2016, as well as the company tax rate for businesses earning less than $10 million per year.
“Labor Leader Bill Shorten has confirmed that Labor would continue the fuel tax credits we get through the BAS system, despite the views of some of his caucus members. The Labor Party would also deliver tax cuts, but for businesses earning less than $2 million a year.”
The ATA’s national report card awards the Greens only one tick, for their support for an audit of truck driver training providers.
“The Greens supported the RSRT and voted against its abolition. They want to take away the industry’s fuel tax credits, even though truck and bus operators are already overtaxed,” Mrs Watson said.
The ATA also released state-specific report cards for Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania today.
These report cards award three ticks out of three to Glenn Lazarus (Queensland, Glenn Lazarus Team), Bob Day AO (South Australia, Family First), Nick Xenophon (South Australia, Nick Xenophon Team) and Jacqui Lambie (Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie Network).
“I ask everyone in the trucking industry to consider the ATA’s report cards as they decide how to vote on 2 July,” Mrs Watson said.