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Impending freight industry crisis.



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WHYALLA OFFICE: PORT PIRIE OFFICE:

45a Playford Avenue WHYALLA SA 5600 104 Ellen Street (PO Box 296) PORT PIRIE SA 5540 Phone: (08) 8645 4255 / Phone: (08) 8633 1744

Phone: 1300 301 651 (local call cost) Phone: 1300 301 742 (local call cost)

Fax: (08) 8645 5933 Fax: (08) 8633 1749

ROWAN RAMSEY MP Member for Grey

MEDIA RELEASE

Impending freight industry crisis

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey has warned of an impending freight crisis if the long-haul transport industry continues to be burdened with increasing operating costs as the Federal Government looks to introduce increases in fuel tax and registration fee rises. In a speech to parliament last week he pointed out that the freight task in the nation is set to double in the next 10 -15years. “Rather than increasing capacity to meet that demand, the industry is in decline’, he said. “Rising costs, some influenced by government, an aging workforce, ever increasing compliance costs, stringent and ever increasing OH & S requirements and tightening environmental targets all contribute to a burden which has become too much for many small to medium sized operators in this field. “I can see where we could experience a freight crisis where large parts of the Australian economy are stranded. “The government talks about the bottlenecks in our economy, but I don’t believe they understand just how close we are to collapse in the transport industry. Nor do they even begin to understand just how dependent Australia is on the transport industry.

“The government has threatened that if the Senate continues to block the fuel tax and registration fee rises, it will not fund the establishment of new rest stops. The necessity for new rest stops has been brought about by the advent of the new Heavy Driver Fatigue laws, more government led compliance costs.

“The new regulations will lead to a whole raft of extra costs to the industry. We all want safe roads, but it appears that government having taxed this industry within an inch of its life and is not prepared to wear any of the cost of implementation. “At a time when our traditional industries in rural and regional Australia are struggling to survive, this out of touch government is insisting on new taxes to meet the costs of implementing new government regulation.”

Mr Ramsey said he believes new driver fatigue rest stops are a good idea. “Funding them out of the Auslink package is fine, making them conditional on new taxes at a time when the freight industry is in decline will impede on our productive capacity,” he said. “It is black-mail and should be exposed as such.”

Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith (08) 8633 1744 September 16, 2008

WHYALLA OFFICE: PORT PIRIE OFFICE:

45a Playford Avenue WHYALLA SA 5600 104 Ellen Street (PO Box 296) PORT PIRIE SA 5540 Phone: (08) 8645 4255 / Phone: (08) 8633 1744

Phone: 1300 301 651 (local call cost) Phone: 1300 301 742 (local call cost)

Fax: (08) 8645 5933 Fax: (08) 8633 1749