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Exempt trucks from carbon tax as well as cars

04 July 2011

The Australian Government should exempt trucks from the carbon tax as well as cars, the Chief Executive of the Australian Trucking Association, Stuart St Clair, said today.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister said petrol would be excluded from the carbon tax, meaning that “families, tradies, small business people do not have to worry about a petrol price increase.”

But the Government is expected to impose the carbon tax on the trucking industry, by increasing the effective fuel tax paid by trucking operators. Only last week, their effective fuel tax increased by 0.5 cents per litre. Fuel taxes for motorists remained unchanged.

Mr St Clair said the Government’s plan could be a disaster for the tens of thousands of small business people in the industry.

“85 per cent of trucking businesses have five employees or fewer. At a carbon price of $25 per tonne, these businesses would have to pay an extra seven cents per litre for fuel,” Mr St Clair said.

“They are already finding it difficult to recover fuel price increases from their customers. They would go out of business.
“Ultimately, the firms that survive would end up passing the costs on, which would affect the price of every item on the shelves of every supermarket, as well as Australia’s exports.

Mr St Clair said the trucking industry had already spent hundreds of millions of dollars meeting higher emission standards.

“The ATA released an independent report last week showing the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 35 per cent per billion tonne kilometres between 1990 and 2011. Particulate emissions from new engines fell 92 per cent between 1996 and 2010,” he said.

“The Government should exempt trucks from the carbon tax as well as cars, or impose the tax on all fuel users, not come up with an ad hoc arrangement to include some and exclude others.”

About the ATA: The Australian Trucking Association is the peak body that represents the trucking industry. Its members include state and sector trucking associations, major logistics companies and operators and suppliers with leading expertise in truck technology.