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ATA slams $3.6 billion tax on freight and jobs

20 November 2020
The Australian Trucking Association has slammed the Australian Logistics Council’s proposed operator licensing system, which would be a $3.6 billion tax on freight and jobs.  
In its response to the review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law, the ALC proposed a National Operator Standard, which would impose massive costs on trucking operators. 
“Under the ALC proposal, operators would be subject to mandatory electronic recording of driving hours and the location of every heavy vehicle. Every heavy vehicle operator would need to have a safety management system,” ATA Acting CEO Bill McKinley said.  
“The proposed standard would also tell businesses how to structure their finances by requiring them to hold a certain – but completely undefined – level of capital. 
“The National Operator Standard is just operator licensing under a new name,” he said.  
Mr McKinley said the ALC had failed to provide any numbers on the benefits and costs of its plan. 
“In contrast, we have put in the time and money to cost operator licensing. In conjunction with NatRoad, we commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to assess the costs of implementing an operator licensing system,” he said. 
“In their independent report, Deloitte Access Economics found that a national operator licensing system would cost $3.6 billion over ten years if it was rolled out nationally – which is what the ALC is proposing – or $3.2 billion over ten years if it was applied to the existing HVNL states.  
“A national version of the system would need to cover some 146,900 businesses, comprising about 56,000 hire and reward operators and 90,900 businesses that operate trucks to support their own operations. 
“I want to thank NatRoad for their commitment to getting hard numbers on the cost of operator licensing. 
“In the ATA’s view, operator licensing would be nothing more than an anti-competitive tax on hardworking small and family businesses,” he said. 
The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the businesses and people of the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism, and viability.