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Prime Mover Magazine

Trucking industry lobbies for change

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and Western Roads Federation (WRF) have joined forces to lobby for government measures to cut red tape.

ATA Chair, Geoff Crouch, WRF Chair, Craig Smith-Gander, ATA CEO, Ben Maguire, and WRF CEO, Cam Dumesny, met with Minister for Transport, Main Roads, and Lands, Rita Saffioti and departmental executives this week, in conjunction with the ATA board meeting in Perth.

A key item of discussion was the need for the Australian Government to establish an independent review into the process for issuing oversize/overmass permits.

“Trucking operators spend 4.5 million days per year waiting for approvals to move freight,” said Smith-Gander.

“The problem is most acute in the interstate oversize/overmass sector, where businesses are in crisis because of the long delays involved in getting permits and police escorts,” he said.

The ATA and WRF also requested that Minister Saffioti act on local government road user charges. A growing number of local governments in Western Australia are attempting to impose their own local heavy road user charges many of which do not reflect the impact of those trucks on the local road system.

“Our industry is offering to work with local government on solutions, but it must be led by the state government to ensure any outcome is consistent with any other road market reform agendas,” said Smith-Gander.

“We also raised the need to introduce monthly registration payments by direct debit or credit card,” said Crouch.

“In most states, including Western Australia, trucking businesses pay registration fees on a three, six or twelve-month basis. In contrast, South Australia has introduced monthly registration payments for both light and heavy vehicles.

“The main obstacle to introducing monthly payments has always been the tedious task of sending out and replacing registration labels, but Western Australia abolished these in 2016. A monthly registration option would smooth the cashflow of trucking businesses, including Western Australia’s 3,000 owner drivers,” he said.

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