Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz has joined numerous voices in the trucking industry, in slamming the Grattan Institute’s recent Fuel Tax Credits proposal.
The Institute’s report to the federal government suggested removing the Fuel Tax Credits for the heavy vehicle sector, which Buchholz says would be “a kick in the guts to the heavy vehicle sector and regional Australia.”
He spoke in Parliament earlier this week calling out the Grattan Institute’s proposal and calling on the government to rule out any changes in the upcoming budget.
“If you live in a regional area, outside a metropolitan area, the goods that you purchase have a higher transport component to their costs. This tax credit was given to make them cheaper and provide a more level playing field for people in our regional and remote areas,” Buchholz told Parliament.
“If this were to go ahead, it would be a kick in the guts to the regional and remote families of Australia.
“It would be a kick in the guts for the very sensitive parts of the transport industry that are already dealing with increased cost-of-living pressures.
“The best thing that the Treasurer could do is to come out and say that they are not considering getting rid of the tax credits that give a level playing field to our regional and remote areas.”
Buchholz says he doesn’t plan to end the fight, sponsoring a Private Member’s Motion formally calling on the government to rule out any changes to the fuel tax credits.
“I have this week, sponsored a Private Member’s Motion, which is expected to come onto the floor of Parliament for debate in early March before the Federal Budget.
“I’m calling on the heavy vehicle sector to support my fight against this ridiculous tax proposal, which will only cripple our sector and impose higher costs on regional communities.”
Earlier in the week, the Australian Trucking Association also blasted the proposal. “Diesel is our biggest cost. We’re already fighting ridiculous fuel prices; this would be straw that breaks the camel’s back,” said ATA chair David Smith.