The Australian Greens’ package of climate change bills would overtax the trucking industry by $1.2 billion a year, on top of the increase in fuel prices caused by the introduction of emissions trading, according to the Australian Trucking Association. The Greens have a longstanding support for increased rail freight in preference to road transport.
The chairman of the Australian Trucking Association, Trevor Martyn, said the Greens wanted to make trucking companies pay for their greenhouse emissions twice: through the higher fuel prices caused by emissions trading, and then through a 76 per cent increase in the rate of fuel tax paid by trucking companies.
“The Greens’ plan would add $1.2 billion per year to the cost of road transport, which carries three quarters of Australia’s freight, including every item on the shelves of every supermarket,” Mr Martyn said. “Australian families would end up paying more than they should for their basic groceries. Australia’s export industries would suffer an entirely unnecessary blow to their competitiveness.”
Mr Martyn said the trucking industry supported the Government’s plan for emissions trading, even though it would increase the price of fuel.
“The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme would enable Australia to meet its emissions target at the lowest cost, because individuals and businesses would be able to make their own judgements about how to deal with the rising cost of using fossil fuels,” he said.
“Australia’s trucking companies would look at the increasing cost of fuel, and make decisions about the best way of dealing with it. Some would pass the increased cost onto their customers; others would buy more efficient trucks or use their existing fleets more efficiently.
“Our customers would use the industry’s changing freight costs as a guide to making their own decisions as well. All those individual decisions about prices and fuel use would add up to deliver the emissions target at the lowest cost to the economy.
“Instead of setting a framework of price signals using the CPRS and then trusting people to make good business decisions, the Greens want to impose higher taxes on the trucking industry as well.
“Quite simply, the Greens don’t like the trucking industry. They say they want a ‘just transition’ for the communities that support industries like ours, but that’s politician-speak for giving people a voucher for computer training as a token gesture and then tossing them on the unemployment scrapheap.”
The Greens policies support rail and public transport over road transport and motor vehicles, including policy no. 26: “train services that are competitive with road transport – reliable, safe, fast and inexpensive.”