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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Rail ‘sets record straight’ following trucking industry claims

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The Australasian Railway Association has said it ‘wants to set the record straight regarding claims in recent advertisements by the South Australian Road Transport Association about proposed changes to heavy vehicle registration costs’.

The SARTA advertisements claims an increase in truck registration will result in 50% more trucks on the road than are really necessary; and/or dramatically increase freight costs, resulting in increased prices for bread, fruit and veg, clothing and everyday living day living costs, as well as harming exports and jobs.

Noting that the proposed increase is less than 1%, Bryan Nye, ARA CEO said claiming the registration price increase will dramatically increase costs is ‘exaggerated’.

“Freight costs account for around 5% of the final price of consumer goods,” he said.

“Assuming that the full cost is passed on, a 1% rise in freight costs means a 0.01 cent increase in the price of a loaf of bread.

“Considering that a consumer would need to buy 1000 loaves of bread before he or she was out of pocket an extra $1, the claim of a ‘major price hike’ is melodramatic.”

The advert avoids the fact that the reason for the proposed increase is to ‘cover the costs to reinforce bridges and tunnels and the damage bigger and heavier trucks cause on roads.’

“This advert claims that the trucking industry would prefer Australian taxpayers or other road users pick up the bill for truck-specific improvements to our road network,” continued Mr Nye.

“We agree with SARTA in that we don’t want more trucks on our roads,” said Mr Nye.

“One freight train can take up to 110 trucks off the road and given that rail is 9 times safer and 3 times more energy efficient than road transport, the obvious solution to less trucks on our roads is rail,” continued Mr Nye.

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