With the announcement of a Productivity Commission review of the economic impact of transport regulation reforms, the searchlight turns onto the trucking industry. The Productivity Commission (PC) is a powerful voice and one that governments listen to and whose evidence they use to develop policy.
The review is set to investigate these implications across all transport, including rail and maritime safety. However, we can be sure the main focus will be on trucks and trucking. We are the elephant in the room on all of these issues, they don’t know much about us, but they know we are there.
Looking at reform the PC has been tasked with assessing:
- the benefits derived directly to the transport industry
- the benefits derived for the community from consistent national safety regulation
- the benefits derived through the transport industry’s role as an input to other industries
- the impact of cross border consistency for industry and governments
- relevant global or domestic changes impacting the transport economy since 2008
- the most important contributors to the benefits of transport reforms.
This is a list which the trucking industry does know a lot about and sums up a lot of the contentious issues which we have been discussing over and over again in the last couple of decades.
So, now is the trucking industry’s chance to get a result, to get a loud voice in Canberra to make the kinds of salient bullet points our lobbyists have been hitting for many years. Communicating with the PC is not like talking to the politicians, who are always looking for what’s in it for them. The PC does have an agenda, but it is to come up with rational, disinterested facts, which can be used to shape policy going forward.
This isn’t the time for all interested parties to snow the PC under with all of their petty concerns and hobby horses. It is a time for all of those who represent, regulate and legislate for us, to come up with a way forward which will get everyone a little bit of what they need.
The PC needs to be given a picture of the trucking industry from which they can come to some rational recommendations which actually improve things for every one in the trucking industry.
Now is the time to act. Go to the PC website and look at the terms of reference, talk to anyone who will listen. Then we need to wait for the issues paper to be released in May, take it all in and come up with a sensible suggestion. Then it will be time to make a submission here, they have got to be posted in June.
There is no point in missing this opportunity and then complaining about policy changes, the trucking industry can get in on the act now.