Australasian Transport News (ATN)

SHINING A LIGHT

If the recent scandal, diversion, froth and bluster at Parliament House are anything to go by, it is a particularly inauspicious time to make a case to Canberra. Add to that the plethora of state and federal fright transport inquiries and reports, a number that must rival those into bushfires, and the question of the point of it all comes into sharp relief.

So, is the Productivity Commission’s (PC’s) National Transport Regulatory Reform inquiry covering land transport modes any different?

A couple of aspects are cause for very cautious optimism as far as the trucking aspect goes.

The PC is the nation’s top microeconomic review and advisory body. Its findings carry weight in economic debate. Given the level of knowledge the average politician has of trucking mirrors that of the general public, they will have a hard time deflecting its findings.

Also, this was a task the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) charged the PC with. Again, the findings will be difficult to ignore, or hide from.

And then there’s what it says on the tin. All stripes of government and politics view productivity with serious concern, even as they struggle to get to grips with plucking even the lowest of low-hanging fruit.

Certainly, the nation’s peak transport industry bodies put serious time and effort into emphasising the highest priorities.

Here is what they and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) told the inquiry in hearings and submissions following the PC’s draft report.

NATROAD

The nation needs a laser focus on the freight transport skills and recruitment or risk the industry faltering on safety and in support of economic growth.

National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) CEO Warren Clark makes this point clear

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