The analysis of the Federal Budget continues today with the early responses from the road transport industry generally proving mixed.
Some of the big-ticket items that might be seen as a win for the industry include increased infrastructure spending and tax breaks for small businesses.
But the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) isn’t completely satisfied.
The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) says the Budget measures have the potential to improve the safety and efficiency of the road transport industry.
“Spending to reduce congestion in our cities has the potential to reduce expensive delays for operators, particularly in terms of the frustrating last mile access to ports, airports and freight hubs” – NatRoad CEO, Warren Clark said.
A $3.5 billion investment in upgrading key freight corridors in regional Australia was a highlight for NatRoad.
“We would like to ensure that this funding is accompanied by a commitment from state and local governments to improve road access for high productivity and oversize/overmass vehicles.
“We know permit delays and differences between jurisdictions cause unnecessary confusion and costs for road transport operators.”
This issue was also an important one for the ATA Chair, Geoff Crouch.
“Trucking operators that move oversize/overmass freight are in crisis because of the long delays involved in getting permits,”
“The NHVR is responsible for issuing these permits in the eastern states and South Australia, but it faces the same problem as our members. It has to wait endlessly for local authorities and other road managers to sign off on the permits.
“The Australian Government needs to attach conditions on its infrastructure funding to require local councils and the states to get their act together and issue permits in a timely way.”
NatRoad also welcomed the continuation of the Ten-Year Enterprise Tax Plan and extension of the instant asset write-down for small businesses.
While the ATA CEO Ben Maguire was disappointed by a $46.4 million commitment to building truck rest areas.
“The fatigue laws require truck drivers to take regular breaks, but there still aren’t enough truck rest areas in the right places,”
“When rest areas are available, they are, all too often, filled up with caravans. Their condition can be shocking.
“Access to toilets, lighting and water are basic rights.”
Related: Truck sales boom continued in April
Stay up to date with the latest Truck and Bus Industry News at heavyvehicles.com.au.