The Australian Trucking Association has called for reforms to enable continuing improvement in productivity. In its submission to the Government’s Competition Policy Review, the ATA seeks changes to enable the trucking industry to continue to develop productivity in the face of an ever growing freight task.
“Between 1971 and 2007, trucking industry productivity increased six-fold due to the uptake of high productivity vehicles like B-doubles,” said the ATA submission. “But the industry’s productivity has plateaued due to government regulation and policy decisions.
“With the national freight task set to grow by 80 per cent between 2011 and 2031, governments must take action on policy reforms to enable the industry to improve its productivity, including by using longer, safer trucks on appropriate routes.”
Road planning and funding reforms must be designed to optimise road infrastructure funding efficiency, said the submission. The trucking industry needs the right roads at the right price, with the right level of access.
“We want to know that funding for road infrastructure provides value for money, with better processes to assess how effectively it is spent,” said the ATA. “This would include improving governance arrangements for public infrastructure projects, project benchmarking, and additional cost benefit analysis.
“Our submission also urges the Government to examine road supply and management services provided by road agencies, with an eye to improving transparency and productivity in this area. The submission also calls for competitive neutrality between government and industry trucking accreditation schemes.
“The competition review states that government businesses should not hold a competitive advantage purely because of their ownership. The Government should reflect this with fair and comparable treatment of industry accreditation schemes owned by industry (such as TruckSafe) and government (such as NHVAS).”