In Parliament yesterday Transport and Infrastructure Minister, Warren Truss, answered two questions about issues effecting the trucking industry and about which there has been uncertainty. He backed the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and went out of his way to reject the Carbon Tax, while taking the opportunity to run down Labor and the Greens.
“I think members on both sides of the House have been enthusiastically supporting the development of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator,” said Truss to the House of Reps. “It is an important piece of economic reform that is potentially going to save billions of dollars in the trucking industry over the years ahead.
“I met with transport ministers from around Australia to talk about what further response there needs to be to deal with this issue and to try and get the regulator working properly.”
Talking about the permit issuing backlog, Truss spoke about the current situation with the states organising the system lasting for a few months until the system has been thoroughly worked through.
“A lot of repair work will need to be done, and I would expect that these interim arrangements we have with the states will be in place for several months until everyone has got the confidence that the new system will work well,” said Truss. “It is an important reform. We need to get it right. This government is not going to walk away from it, and we will be working with the states to achieve satisfactory permit-issuing systems.”
On the Carbon Tax, there was no question of the tax being imposed on the road transport industry and Truss’s answer to a Dorothy Dixer of a question gave him an opportunity to reject a tax on transport fuel and call on Labor and the Greens to reject it.
“Labor’s intention was to extend the carbon tax, 6½ cents a litre, 7½ cents a litre, to every truck operating in this nation,” said Truss. “That was Labor’s plan. If they had been re-elected we would be getting a carbon tax on the entire transport industry. We do not want it on the transport industry. We do not want it at all. The people have voted to get rid of it and it is time this parliament responds to the demands of the Australian people and abolished the carbon tax.”