A TWU petition received over 850 signatures in less than 24 hours from truck drivers and road users calling on Transport Ministers to reject Scott Morrison’s proposed increases to truck fuel tax and registration charges. Signatories are concerned the increases would heap undue financial pressure on truck drivers and operators and put safety at risk in an industry already marked by the highest rates of workplace deaths in the country.
Transport Ministers are due to vote today on the proposed increases, which could be as high as 11.8 per cent over three years.
“This proposed tax hike shows just how out of touch Scott Morrison is when it comes to the transport industry if he thinks there is money to be made from truck operators and drivers whose margins are already pushed to the brink. The Prime Minister is blatantly ignoring the crisis in his country’s deadliest industry by attempting to add even more financial pressure to the lower end of supply chains while ignoring the deadly squeeze caused by those at the top. Since the Federal Government scrapped a road safety watchdog tasked with holding wealthy companies at the top of supply chains to account for safety, 659 people have been killed in truck crashes. The pressure on drivers and operators to cut corners in safety will only be exacerbated if these tax increases go ahead. Hundreds of transport workers and road users have put their name to a petition calling on Transport Ministers to reject this tax, we urge them to listen,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.
In the last 12 months, 332 businesses in the transport, postal and warehousing sector have become insolvent, according to data from ASIC. Since January 186 people have died in truck crashes, including 49 truck drivers.
The Federal Government tore down a road safety watchdog in 2016 which was holding major retailers and manufacturers to account over safety in their supply chains, despite the Government’s own report saying it was reducing truck crashes by 28%.