“Nothing is moving”: new warning on the “killer” rise

The cost of living is already out of control – but it’s about to get worse for Australians as a crucial industry is pushed to breaking point.

Australia’s trucking industry has been hit with crisis after crisis – and it could soon lead to more pain at the supermarket checkout.

The sector has already faced unprecedented pressures in recent times, including the Covid pandemic, global supply chain issues and a national AdBlue shortage.

But now our truckers are grappling with an even more terrible nightmare, with skyrocketing fuel costs and tolls raising fears of an imminent exodus from the industry – and price hikes for consumers.

Simon O’Hara, CEO of Road Freight NSW, said the past few years had been “without freight, nothing moves” – and everyone loses when the industry is struggling.

And while we’re all paying more to the bowser these days, Mr O’Hara said freight operators were also reeling from the 22.1 cent per liter reduction in fuel excise duty from 44 .2 cents put in place by former treasurer Josh Frydenberg during the 2022 federal budget in April. .

While the move saved motorists about 22 cents when filling up, the savings that were previously offered to truckers were cut short.

The fuel excise reduction was a welcome relief for consumers, but hit the trucking industry hard.

Previously, freight companies received 17.8 cents per litre, but this amount was reduced to 4.3 cents per liter from March 30.

Deliver more live and on-demand financial news with Flash. More than 25 news channels in one place. New to Flash? Try 1 month free. Offer ends October 31, 2022 >

“A problem for freight operators is that fuel costs are rising, and we are seeing that increase at the tanker with prices well and truly over $2,” Mr O’Hara told news.com.au.

“The problem is that not only are truckers paying higher fuel costs when they fill up, but the refund they would normally expect during tax time – tax credits, in fact – has been taken away. off the table for three months because of the fuel excise cut the Morrison government made just before the election.

“It will mean a number of things – firstly there will probably be a $20 increase (over the average weekly store in a supermarket) for consumers, and also for freight operators it means higher costs. “

Mr O’Hara explained that freight operators would not be able to immediately pass on these higher costs to their immediate customers, as negotiating contracts takes time, which means “profit margins erode quite a bit. rapidly”.

He said that ultimately the crisis will lead many to wonder “if they can continue to operate in this type of environment”.

“We will get operators to make a conscious decision to exit the industry, and the tightening we have seen over the past six months will become even tighter…if there are fewer freight operators to rely on “, did he declare.

Mr O’Hara noted that rising fuel prices were just one of many issues plaguing the sector at the same time.

“It’s all happening at the same time, so it’s a very interesting moment,” he said.

Last month, the president of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) David Smith has also warned government grocery bills will skyrocket if the fuel tax credit was not restored to 17.8 cents.

In a letter to former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Mr Smith said a reduction in the number of lorries on the roads would lead to supply chain problems which could add “$20 a week to the food bill of ‘an average household’.

“The fuel tax credit is an important part of trucking’s established business model,” he wrote.

“The food supply chain can only keep store shelves stocked if operators can make up for the loss of the tax credit.

“This will reverse the cost-of-living relief that the government has sought to provide.”

Mr Smith also warned that a number of operators would “inevitably collapse in the coming months” unless changes were made.

“Never been so stressed”

Meanwhile, the Transport Workers’ Union has also denounced NSW’s notoriously expensive toll network, which NSW Secretary Richard Olsen described as a corporate “killer” in a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine told news.com.au the industry was now at breaking point.

“Exorbitant fuel prices are pushing road transport to the brink. Transport families have never been so stressed about how they would make enough money to break even, let alone make a small profit,” he said.

“We’ve heard countless stories of workers parking because shockingly high operating costs mean truckers find themselves even further behind after completing a run.

“The result is a less sustainable and more deadly industry. When trucker margins are razor sharp, the pressure is to take risks, overload, drive tired or cut maintenance to make ends meet.

Mr Kaine said it was time for the government to act.

“It’s more important than a single fuel spike: National supply chains are at risk because truckers have no way to recoup fuel costs from the wealthy companies at the top who draw up the transport contracts” , did he declare.

“It is essential that the federal government act urgently to establish an independent body with the power to establish binding and enforceable standards in motor transport, as recommended by the Senate almost 10 months ago” .

– with Jessica Wang

#moving #warning #killer #rise

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *