The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) is calling on federal parties to commit to policies that deliver better road access for high-productivity vehicles and fairer road-user charges.
The ALRTA’s is seeking responses to its new ‘Getting Regional Australia ‘Back on the Road’’ strategy prior to the September 7 election.
ALRTA President Liz Schmidt said that the strategy is based around improving road access, fairer road user charging and injecting confidence into the regional business environment.
“Getting regional Australia back on the road requires a reinvigorated effort on three fronts,” said President Schmidt.
“We must improve road access for higher productivity vehicles such as b-doubles, b-triples and road trains if we are to safely and efficiently deal with a forecast doubling of the freight task by 2030.
“This will require bold changes to the way that road access decisions are made at all levels of government and significant changes to the way that critical infrastructure is planned and provided.
“We must improve the fairness of road user charging for heavy vehicles.
“Decreasing high upfront registration fees and proportionately increasing fuel-based charges will improve cash flow in small transport businesses, reduce cross subsidies between vehicle types and establish a closer relationship between the costs imposed on the road network and the charges levied on individual operators.
“It is also vital that the Federal Government acts to improve the business environment in which rural transport companies operate.
“Measures that would immediately improve business confidence include abolition of the carbon tax, a more reasonable approach to off-shore animal welfare issues, establishment of a national ramp standard and an investment incentive for small rural businesses,” said President Schmidt.
The ALRTA has written to key politicians on all sides of politics to provide a copy of our strategy and to seek information about policy positions impacting on the transport, agricultural and small business sectors.
The full strategy for Getting Regional Australia ‘Back on the Road’ is available at: www.alrta.org.au A one-page summary is included below.
Priority 1: Improving Road Access for High Productivity Vehicles Improved access can be achieved by:
- Recognising HPVs as a necessary part of addressing the freight challenge;
- Assessing and reporting on the current state of the road network;
- Integrating data collection, demand forecasting and decision making;
- Identifying and fixing critical infrastructure bottle necks;
- Improving the number, location and quality of HPV friendly rest areas;
- Demanding that incremental expansion of the HPV network is a key goal in network planning;
- Mandating the Ministerial Guidelines for road access decision making;
- Establishing an independent third-party to review access decisions. ?
Priority 2: Fairer Charging for Heavy Vehicles Fairer charging can be achieved by:
- Decreasing upfront registration fees and increasing the fuel-based road user charge.
- New measures to prevent the overcharging of road trains. ?
Priority 3: Enhancing the Rural and Small Business Environment An enhanced business environment can be achieved by:
- Establishing a national ramp standard for livestock loading.
- More reasonable responses to animal welfare incidents in overseas markets.
- Abolition of plans to impose a carbon tax on road transport from 1 July 2014.
- Rewarding transport operators for safety and environmental improvements.
- Providing targeted incentives to kick-start rural economies and small businesses.
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