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2020-21 Budget

25 August 2020

The economic outlook has changed as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. Australia faces falling household consumption, falling business investment and low wages growth.

Supporting households and businesses

Increasing unemployment and decreasing household consumption are critical economic issues for the trucking industry. The projected increase in unemployment would take billions of dollars of household consumption out of the economy. Wage growth will be low and lower consumption will reduce the demand for transport.

The Australian Government should:

  • Increase the base rate of JobSeeker by at least $100 per week
  • Continue JobKeeper whilst the economic need remains and respond to the evolving impacts of COVID-19
  • Not proceed with the planned 1 July 2021 increase of the superannuation guarantee
  • Request that the National Cabinet and the Council of Federal Financial Relations progress national payroll tax reform to reduce the tax and compliance burden for business.

Boosting business investment

COVID-19 is not a one-off economic hit, the impact will continue for years to come. The need to assist business and economic growth will continue beyond the end of 2020 and the Government should expand support for business investment.

The Australian Government should:

  • Introduce a long-term investment allowance to support investment in new trucks and trailers
  • Extend the $150,000 instant asset write off to 30 June 2021.

Infrastructure and productivity

Productivity for the transport sector has been falling since 2014. However, significant economic benefits can be achieved from increasing the use of High Productivity Freight Vehicles (HPFV). 

The economic benefits would include significant cost savings to industries that rely on transport services, including wholesale and retail trade, construction and food processing. For the average consumer, it is estimated they could save $452 per annum on everyday purchases.

The Australian Government should:

  • Target infrastructure investment to improve road network access for HPFVs
  • Prioritise investment for enabling A-double access on the Hume Highway
  • Adopt minimum standards on the National Land Transport Network to deliver road safety design, truck rest area and HPFV access standards
  • Continue and strengthen its commitment to the infrastructure pipeline, ensuring funding for truck rest areas, freight routes, regional roads and bridge upgrades
  • Strengthen the independent assessment of proposed infrastructure projects
  • Reduce red tape, ensure regulations are well maintained and keep Australian Design Rules for heavy vehicles.