New biose­cu­rity levy slammed as cash grab

Stake­hold­ers de­mand tax ex­pla­na­tion

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

PEAK body Road Freight NSW has de­scribed the new biose­cu­rity levy on cargo, an­nounced in the re­cent Federal Bud­get, as a “re-run” of the crip­pling port sur­charges al­ready im­posed on truck op­er­a­tors.

Road Freight NSW joined sup­ply chain stake­hold­ers in call­ing for fur­ther de­tails from the Federal Govern­ment on the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the new levy, a charge of $10.02 per in­com­ing con­tainer and $1 per tonne of non-con­tainer­ised cargo, which would gen­er­ate an ad­di­tional $360 mil­lion in rev­enue.

“From our per­spec­tive, it’s a re-run of the port in­fra­struc­ture sur­charges which have been slapped on truck op­er­a­tors with no con­sul­ta­tion, no ex­pla­na­tion and cer­tainly no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. Noth­ing more than a bla­tant cash grab,” Road Freight NSW chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Si­mon O’Hara said.

“Of the $360 mil­lion raised through the biose­cu­rity levy, it’s es­ti­mated that only $76.6 mil­lion is ac­tu­ally be­ing spent on biose­cu­rity – that’s why it’s only fair and rea­son­able that our in­dus­try stake­hold­ers are call­ing on the govern­ment to ex­plain where the rest of the money will be used.

“Un­doubt­edly, such a blan­ket sur­charge, like the port in­fra­struc­ture taxes im­posed on truck­ies, will sim­ply be added to goods all through the sup­ply chain.

“Every­one in the freight lo­gis­tics sec­tor will be hit, and hurt, by this new tax.

“Our mem­bers, who are al­ready strug­gling to op­er­ate on in­creas­ingly tight mar­gins as a re­sult of the port taxes im­posed by steve­dores, are go­ing to be im­pacted. And ul­ti­mately, so will Aus­tralian con­sumers who will be pay­ing more for their im­ported goods.

“RFNSW joins the Aus­tralian Lo­gis­tics Coun­cil, Aus­tralasian Rail­way As­so­ci­a­tion, Ports Aus­tralia and Ship­ping Aus­tralia in rais­ing our con­cerns about this new im­port tax and call­ing on the govern­ment to give us a please ex­plain.”

A re­quest from Big Rigs for Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud to re­spond went unan­swered by

❝ Every­one in the freight lo­gis­tics sec­tor will be hit, and hurt, by this new tax. — Si­mon O’Hara, RFNSW CEO

dead­line for this is­sue.

But an in­de­pen­dent re­view chaired by Wendy Craik, for­mer ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion, re­ceived by the govern­ment in July last year rec­om­mended the levy to help meet biose­cu­rity de­tec­tion and en­force­ment over­heads.

The Queens­land Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion joined the grow­ing cho­rus of dis­ap­proval from in­dus­try stake­hold­ers to the new tax, which is due to come into ef­fect from July next year.

“As it is we pay state reg­is­tra­tion charges, we pay fuel ex­cise, we pay sig­nif­i­cant tolls across the coun­try, and port charges area now ever-in­creas­ing. Where does it all stop?” said QTA CEO Gary Ma­hon.

“We still need to be a com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try, and to com­pete with our in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure we need to make sure trans­port costs are not an un­due

CON­TRIBUTED

PLEASE EX­PLAIN: The road freight sec­tor has joined with other stake­hold­ers to hit out at a po­ten­tially crip­pling cargo levy an­nounced in the Federal Bud­get.

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