ALRTA NATIONAL PARTNER
ALRTA SEEKS URGENT FUEL EXCISE FIX
In the wake of unintended consequences arising from the Australian Government’s decision to reduce fuel excise by 22.1 cents per litre (cpl) for six months, ALRTA has made representations to key politicians recommending that the road user charge also be immediately reduced by 22.1 cpl.
The impact of this change would be to reinstate the fuel tax credit of 17.8 cpl. Any change or indexation of fuel excise or the road user charge should also be delayed until after the temporary relief period.
ALRTA National President Scott McDonald said that the lack of consultation and poor understanding of the impact of the fuel excise cut on trucking businesses has short-changed the industry and produced a red-tape nightmare.
ALRTA National President Scott McDonald.
“The National average price of diesel has increased by 58.0 cpl since December 2021. Trucking businesses have limited capacity to pass on such dramatic increases,” said President McDonald.
“ALRTA appreciates the Australian Government’s attempt to provide temporary relief from soaring fuel prices. Given that transport costs are embedded in almost all Australian goods and services, reducing fuel excise by 22.1 cpl has potential to reduce business costs and cost-of-living pressures for all Australians.
“However, the effective net benefit for heavy vehicle operators is just 4.3 cpl, not 22.1 cpl.
“This is because trucking businesses pay an effective fuel duty rate of 26.4 cents per litre, not the full rate of 44.2 cpl paid by other motorists. Our normal 17.8 cpl fuel tax credit for on-road fuel use will be reduced to zero.
“On the surface, it would seem that a 4.3 cpl net fuel discount is better than no relief at all. However, this perspective does not appreciate the contracting chain and cash flow implications within the trucking sector.
“Firstly, most customers have heard that fuel excise has been reduced by 22.1 cpl. Many are now demanding a commensurate reduction in their freight rates.
“Secondly, operators with agreed fuel levies in place are now at the mercy of contracting parties. This is because fuel levies are adjusted with reference to bowser prices. When such contracts are enforced, the transport operator must accept lower freight rates, cutting into profit margins or perhaps even resulting in a loss.
“Thirdly, explaining the current situation to customers and attempting to renegotiate contracts on a temporary basis for the next six months is time consuming and frustrating for all parties. Most operators feel it is simply not worth the effort for such a small net cost reduction.
“Fourthly, trucking businesses use fuel tax credits as a cash flow management tool to offset other government taxes for which they are liable. With the previous 17.8 cpl fuel tax credit now effectively reduced to zero, businesses will now need to accumulate and set aside cash to pay taxation liabilities. This is a ticking time bomb for many road transport businesses that do not as yet fully understand this element.
“Lastly, ALRTA is aware of members who have approached their accountant for advice, only to be told that fuel tax credits will continue to apply. In one such incident, a member made three separate approaches before their accountant finally provided correct advice.
“Consultation with the trucking sector prior to the fuel excise reduction announcement was severely lacking. Consequently, the real impact of the change was poorly understood by policy makers.
“As I understand it, neither the ALRTA nor the Australian Trucking Association were contacted by Treasury to discuss the proposed measures. Further, our associations have established that Treasury did not even consult with the ATO.
“This is a significant consultation failure given the obvious taxation implications and operational impact on trucking businesses.
“The last time our trucking associations were not properly consulted, Australia experienced empty supermarket shelves for the first time in decades. No one wants that repeated.
“Australian truck drivers have carried the nation through drought, fires, floods, COVID-19 and now soaring prices for fuel and adblue. The last thing Australia needs is further pressure on our road transport supply chain via ill conceived, albeit well intentioned, taxation changes.
“The only way to fix this problem is to immediately reduce the road user charge by 22.1 cpl and reinstate the fuel tax credit.
“If the ALRTA recommendation was implemented, trucking operators would receive an effective fuel cost reduction of 22.1 cpl that would remain stable during the temporary relief period. They would be able to honour contractual fuel levy obligations and maintain current cash flow arrangements.
“Importantly, trucking operators would be able to pass on savings by way of lower freight costs to customers, and ultimately, consumers to achieve the government’s intended cost-of-living relief.
“With the fuel excise cut expected to flow through to bowser prices within the next week, this matter requires prompt attention and action,” he said.
ALRTA NATIONAL COUNCIL
The ALRTA National Council met via teleconference today. We were very pleased to welcome special guests the Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, the Hon Scott Buchholz MP, as well as Chair of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, Senator Susan McDonald. These discussions were extremely timely given that a Federal Election announcement is imminent.
Senator McDonald addresses ALRTA National Council.
National Council also welcomed a presentation from the ATA proposing a new approach to the HVNL review and operational discussions with our national partner bp. Other issues discussed included specific regulatory reviews, fit-to-load standards, primary producer registration, training standards, projects and industry awards.
ALRTA National Council will next meet on 10 June 2022.
MCDONALD AT FUTURE LEADERS FORUM
ALRTA National President Scott McDonald was in Canberra this week to participate in the ATA Future Leaders Forum. Other program participants came from across the country and from many different occupations – from mechanics through to technology experts.
The program ran for two days of intensive workshops with mentorship from experts in leadership, media and political training. The participants visited Parliament House as well as the Australian War Memorial.
ALRTA National President Scott McDonald at the Future Leaders Forum in Canberra this week.
INTERIM CHANGES TO LIVE EXPORT RULES
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is reviewing sheep exports by sea to, or through, the Middle East during the Northern Hemisphere Summer (1 May to 31 October).
As an interim measure to continue to manage heat stress risks and to provide sufficient time for industry to prepare for the 2022 Northern Hemisphere Summer, the Export Control (Animals) Rules 2021 (Animals Rules) were amended.
These amendments affect arrangements for May and June starting this year.
The changes are based on updated climatology data which indicated that changes should be made for the commencement of the 2022 Northern Hemisphere Summer (for May and June). In particular, the climatology data indicated an increased heat stress risk (above the threshold set in 2020) for voyages to some Persian Gulf destinations in late May and a reduced risk for voyages to or through the Red Sea during early June.
The key changes are that:
- sheep must not be exported to Persian Gulf destinations (including Qatar but not Oman and Kuwait) by sea on a vessel that leaves an Australian port from 22 May to 31 May unless additional conditions to mitigate heat stress risks are met; and
- sheep can now be exported to or through the Red Sea from 1 to 14 June (export during this period was previously prohibited).
The new rules can be accessed here.
GUIDELINES FOR STEVEDORE CHARGES
The NTC has published new national voluntary guidelines for applying landside stevedore infrastructure and access charges at Australia’s container ports.
Developed in the wake of industry outcries over opaque and unfair charging practices, the voluntary guidelines aim to provide greater certainty and transparency for both stevedores and landside transport operators and improve understanding of the benefits of investment in terminal facilities.
The new guidelines can be accessed here.
GRAPE HARVEST EXPECTATIONS
The NHVR is reminding operators of heavy vehicles transporting grapes to pay attention to their mass, loading, fatigue and work and rest hour requirements under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
The reminder comes after grape spillage was found at major intersections and heavy vehicles transporting grapes inspected by NHVR’s Safety and Compliance Officers were found to be non-compliant.
Find out more about having a safe and fruitful grape season
NEW TRUCKSAFE WEBSITE
The new TruckSafe website will offer accredited TruckSafe members discounts and bonuses from partners, as part of its commitment to providing added value to membership.
The new TruckSafe website is also much easier to use, aimed at making the task of finding the information you need as simple as possible with less fluff and clutter.
Some of the new features include a new simplified Member Access area with easy-to-read tiles and sections that are expandable, so you only need to focus on the information that matters to you.
Other features include a new page dedicated to letting us know if any of your details have changed along with the audit feedback on your audit experience.
If you click on a link in an email to a specific page and need to log in, once you have successfully logged in you will be taken directly to that page rather than clicking endlessly trying to find it.
Your login credentials from the old website will continue to work on the new website.
Pro Tip: Once logged in you will see a green ‘Member Access’ link on the top menu next to the ‘Log Out’ link. Click on the green link to enter the Member Access area.
SAVE THE DATES FOR 2022
LBRCA (NSW) -26 -28 May 2022 – Wagga Wagga NSW – Information & Registration
LRTASA (SA) -17-18 June 2022 – Adelaide SA – Registration
ALRTA/LRTAV National Combined Conference -12-13 August 2022 – All Seasons Bendigo VIC – Information