In November, the NTC was ‘sent back to the drawing board’ …

Its public knowledge that, in May this year, the NTC announced a ‘review’ of A-Trailer charges.

The ALRTA had pushed hard since mid-2010 to win this ‘review’, and we were delighted when the NTC made this commitment.

In their published ‘updates’ this year, the NTC made it clear to everyone that they would submit a report on A-Trailers to the meeting of the ‘Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure’ (SCOTI) – that’s the national meeting of all the nation’s Ministers – which was held on 4 November 2011.

So what happened to the report?

Industry representatives were invited to that meeting as ‘observers’. In our News the next week, we printed this:

“It would be wrong to go repeating all the detail of the discussions that the industry was privileged to observe last Friday. So I can simply say that every Minister the ALRTA has gone to on this issue was deeply impressive in their commitment to getting practical, swift and fair action on this issue …”

“… The NTC’s website now states that the Ministers “… recognised the urgency for industry of resolving these issues and have requested that the NTC undertake further analysis … and present advice to Ministers in February 2012”. “

And what happened to the NTC’s report? You won’t find any mention of it in the official communiqué that was issued by the Ministers at the end of the SCOTI meeting.

The best public information you can find is an article in the national industry magazine, ATN:

While declining to divulge details of the confidential document, a spokeswoman for Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says it failed to meet ministers’ expectations.

 “It didn’t address any of the key issues or any of the problems so they’ve been asked to do it again and come up with something that will solve it,” she says.

Source: ATN magazine, on-line edition, 8 November 2011, copy: here

… but the NTC are still playing with the same idea

At the ATA General Council meeting this week, as we swapped notes, everyone agreed: all we’re hearing from the NTC is exactly the same proposal that we were consulted upon back in September and October.

That’s the same proposal that Ministers, how do we put this … ‘declined to endorse’.

Having been turned away on 4 November, it seems the NTC is planning to simply run straight back, head first, into a brick wall.

And if that’s the information that industry’s been able to piece together at the start of December, there’s no doubt that the States have been up to their armpits in this, behind closed doors, for the whole of the month of November.

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