The Government’s second coronavirus economic package will support trucking operators and deliver business confidence, Australian Trucking Association Chair Geoff Crouch said this week.

The Australian Trucking Association and its member associations collectively represent the businesses and people of the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.

“Although trucking businesses in the grocery and fuel supply chains are working flat out, others face months of reduced or no work,” Mr Crouch said.

“Small and medium sized trucking businesses that employ staff will be eligible for a cashflow boost of up to $100,000 with a minimum payment of $20,000. Businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million will be eligible.

“Eligible truck owner drivers will be able to apply for an expanded JobSeeker Payment with a new coronavirus supplement.

“The expanded JobSeeker Payment addresses one of the key issues we raised in our discussions with Treasury and in our formal submission to the Government last week. The industry’s 28,900 owner drivers are critical to Australia’s supply chains but were not eligible for support under the Government’s first economic package.

“We thank the Government for listening to the concerns that we raised, and strongly congratulate them for the decisive action they have taken. It will help ensure that many of our owner drivers will remain in the industry for the long term,” he said.

Mr Crouch welcomed the new Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme: a government guarantee for small and medium business loans.

The loans will be interest free for the six months and will be for a maximum of $250,000 over three years. The Government will guarantee 50 per cent of each loan.

“In our discussions with Treasury and our formal submission to the Government last week, we argued that businesses needed a loan guarantee; the Government has delivered,” he said.

Mr Crouch said it was time for the trucking industry to continue working together.

“It is only when we work together and communicate with a united voice that we achieve the results that are so important,” he said.

“By working together with confidence and unity, we will be able to keep up the flow of essential food, groceries, medical supplies and chemicals as the pandemic worsens and more and more restrictions are imposed.”