The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) said its plan for fairer industry contracts would also enable the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to set a mandatory fuel ley formula.
The peak body is lobbying for the changes ahead of the FWC stepping up to take more control over how the industry is run, as the federal government first revealed at the Jobs and Skills Summit in September 2022.
“Under our plan, the commission would be able to make orders setting road transport contract standards, including a mandatory formula for setting and adjusting fuel levies,” said Smith, a former truckie himself and now managing director of D&S Smith Haulage in SA.
“The commission should not be able set a percentage fuel levy rate, because the inputs to any formula would vary from business to business.”
Smith said the fuel levy formula would need to factor in changes to the Australian Government’s road user charge.
“Some rate review clauses in industry contracts are based on the price of fuel, but changes to the road user charge don’t affect the fuel price – they change the fuel tax credits that trucking businesses can claim on their monthly or quarterly BAS.
“The Australian Government has just increased the road user charge from 27.2 cents per litre to 28.8 cents per litre, and it will go up another 3.6 cents per litre over the next two years.
“Any fuel levy formula needs to take these increases into account.”
The ATA said its research shows that only 34 per cent of trucking businesses are able to pass on increases in their fuel costs, including as a result of changes in their fuel tax credits.
ATA CEO Mat Munro was at Parliament House last week talking to senators about the association’s fair trucking industry contracts plan.
Munro met with Senator Tony Sheldon (ALP, NSW), Senator Glenn Sterle (ALP, WA) and TWU national secretary Michael Kaine, as well as with Senator Tammy Tyrrell (JLN, Tas).
“I explained that the ATA’s objective was to make the Government’s legislation work, rather than trying to stop it,” Munro said.
“I argued that the reforms must not create a two tiered system of standards and must not override the work of the NHVR and the other state safety regulators.”
The ATA said it continues to work closely with the Office of Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Tony Burke, and his department as the consultation process nears its end and legislative drafting commences.
The ATA also met recently with Treasury officials and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts to assist their understanding of potential economic impacts and the risk of regulatory overlap.