Govt has transport operators running on fumes

Apr 6, 2022

Govt has transport operators running on fumes

Apr 6, 2022

BOB Katter, Kennedy MP, has penned a letter to the Treasurer on behalf of the transport industry in his electorate who say Government has made a terrible error in judgement by reducing the fuel excise, and cutting the fuel tax credit simultaneously.

By removing the fuel tax credit for on-road users, and with the continuing increase in the price of petrol from the oil companies, Mr Katter said the transport operators were facing massive cash-flow and operational issues. 

“There is a serious issue unfolding across Australia, which is a direct consequence of the 22.1c fuel excise reduction implemented by the Government,” Mr Katter said.

“While at face value, the cutting of fuel costs by 21c at the bowser may seem to be a good thing for the Australian people, it is having a catastrophic impact on our transport and freight operators, as well as gouging our farmers and primary producers. 

“22.1c reduction in the fuel excise is not having the positive impact that the government anticipated, and our transport operators are calling for the fuel tax credit of 17.8c for on-road, and 44c for off-road, be restored.”

Mr Katter said that due the removal of the credit, many transport businesses will experience a huge reduction in cashflow, and they will be left with no choice but to increase their fuel levies for their suppliers, who then, will either pass that increase onto the retailer (who will then hike prices to the consumer), or they will absorb the cost themselves.

“Our farmers will take the brunt of these fuel levies and they already on their knees, at the mercy of the giant supermarket chains in terms of the price they get paid for their produce. They have no ability to increase the price per carton in line with the increase in fuel levies coming from the transport operators because they are beholden to the price set by the retailers and so they will be the ones to absorb the cost.

“Not only has there been a 50 percent increase in fuel costs over the last 12 months, but there has also been a 160 percent increase in the price of fertiliser (urea), packaging costs have increased roughly 40-50 percent and chemicals are up 123 percent.

“We understand that everyone is doing it tough but punishing our vital transport operators after what they have already suffered, and continue to suffer from the critical AdBlue shortage, now 300 percent higher in price, is not acceptable. We need our trucks to feed and move our nation,” Mr Katter said. 

Leading North Queensland trucking company, Blenners Transport, said that the continuation of high fuel levies applied to all transported goods created an environment of exceptionally high inflation.

Owner, Les Blenner said, “This time last year, our fuel levy was around 6 percent but we’ve had to increase that to 21 percent.

“While the government gave us a 22.1 cent reduction in the fuel excise they also took away our on road fuel tax credit or 17.8 cents and as a consequence, the net benefit for a heavy vehicle operator was reduced to 4.3 cents.

“Unfortunately, BP, our fuel supplier, has advised the barrel price from last Monday to next Monday has increased 8.463 cents, so in real figures, our fuel price increased 4.16 cents.

 “MOPS is the Mean Oil Price Singapore, and when the price per barrel increases this will disproportionately affect regional Australia, particularly growers that have fixed price contracts with major retailers. 

“The higher cost of living will no doubt provide a launch platform for the Fair Work Commission to approve massive wages increases.

“What this has also done is allow transport companies the ability to claim only a small portion of fuel costs, while also allowing rail and mining companies (because their credits haven’t been impacted) to continue to claim the majority of the fuel costs, thus creating an unfair playing field,” Les said.