The trucking industry has been making inroads into reducing its impact on the planet. From cleaner fuels and eco-driving strategies to using environmental cleaning products, this heavy-polluting sector is building a greener image. It has called for increased government support as it prepares for the impact of the carbon tax.
The trucking industry has called for amendments to a government grant scheme aimed at softening the impact of the carbon tax.
Peak industry body the Australian Trucking Association has released an extensive submission on the draft guidelines for the Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program.
The $40M Federal Government scheme is aimed at offsetting some of the costs of the $23 per tonne carbon tax, which comes into effect from July this year.
In its submission, the ATA has drawn on key contributing factors that lead to the success of its TruckSafe program. The program has helped make small-to-medium sized operators more environmentally friendly Liquid gas (LNG), better driving techniques and more modern systems have helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
ATA chief executive Stuart St Clair said the grants were designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.
“Trucking businesses will face higher costs from 1 July 2012 when their suppliers put up their prices to respond to the carbon price. The Government plans to impose the carbon price on the fuel used by trucking businesses from 1 July 2014, although the ATA will continue arguing against it,” Mr St Clair said.
“Trucking operators will need to pass their increased costs on to their customers, but their ability to pass on their costs will be limited by their existing contract arrangements and lack of market power. Many trucking businesses are locked into long term contracts. Small trucking businesses often feel forced to accept the rates they are offered, even if the terms are unfavourable.”
The trucking sector faces many challenges as it strives to become more eco-friendly. Industrial liquid waste and greenhouse gas emissions are major polluting issues.
Mr St Clair said the grants would not only help operators join the green revolution, but also help soften the impact of carbon tax pressures.
“As well as providing advice on energy efficiency, industry associations need to be able to provide their members with advice on how to improve their business practices to cope with the carbon price. This could include guidance on best practice contracts, adjusting fuel levies and the law relating to carbon price claims.”
In its submission the ATA has called for the scheme to be broadened toinclude energy efficiency standards and audit tools for industry-run accreditation programs.
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