Thursday, July 19, 2012

Aussie Road Haulage Operators Welcome Tax Relief on New Trailers

Menu of Assistance Measures for NSW Rural Hauliers Announced
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – Rural truckers in NSW were welcoming the news that, when the measure is passed by the New South Wales parliament, they will no longer have to pay stamp duty when purchasing a new trailer. A joint announcement by Roads Minister Duncan Gay and Treasurer Mike Baird also referred to a suite of measures, to take effect as from the 1st September, to include rebates on *dollies, 50% on tandem axles and full rebate on tri axles. The 50% rebate will also apply to spare trailers owned by haulage operators with one or two prime movers or rigid trucks and no more than five trailers, dollies excluded.

State Government estimates reckon when the legislation is law an operator purchasing a trailer for A$75,000 will save A$2,850, while a road train operator with 1 prime mover, one tandem axle dolly and two semi- trailers will save A$1,375 each year. The Government has heeded warnings from road haulage groups that firms have been buying and registering trailers in neighbouring states to avoid excessive taxes. John Beer, President of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) was fulsome in his praise for the moves to save haulage outfits costs saying:

“After working with the NSW Government for almost two years in order to secure these reforms, the rural transport industry will now be asking other States to match NSW’s leadership. The abolition of stamp duty on new vehicle purchases is something that was promised to Australian business and industry as part of the original GST reforms. This historic step by the O’Farrell Government is the first move from any State to start delivering on that promise. We’re delighted by this decision. Other governments should now take up the challenge to make progress on these over-due reforms to stamp duty. We’re also delighted by the Government’s decision to reform vehicle registration arrangements for small businesses in the transport industry.”

ALRTA was also delighted that the particular problems faced by smaller haulage outfits in the outback which found it necessary to own a variety of towed equipment to fulfil the needs of their local community but which, for the most part, was underemployed. John Beer again:

“This is a particular problem in the Bush, the local carrier in a small country town may be a bloke who owns just one prime mover, but he may have to own a flat-bed trailer, a grain-tipper, a stock-crate and maybe even a tanker in order to do all the jobs that local businesses and farmers need done. At the moment, in Eastern Australia, that bloke has to pay full rego for each of those trailers even though it’s not physically possible to use them all full-time. That’s thousands of dollars, for trailers that are parked up, on stand-by, for most days of the week.

“NSW will now provide a discount on ‘excess’ trailers owned by small transport companies. NSW will be the first State on the East-Coast of mainland Australia to offer this arrangement, which has been in place in Western Australia and Tasmania for some years and the rural transport industry will now ask Queensland and Victoria to consider similar arrangements.”

The concessions are aimed at improving the state’s general competitiveness and assist its road haulage operators at a time it is most under pressure from competition and generally rising prices. The Government also claims that the moves will lead to a lowering off the average age of equipment and therefore give a safety boost to the industry.

*In Australia dolly refers to an articulated short wheel based trailer equipped with a coupling which allows articulation between the dolly wheels and the axles of the towing vehicle.