Aug 23, 2011

Question without notice – National Transport Reform

GRAHAM PERRETT (Member for Moreton) – My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Will the minister inform the House of the reforms that the government is undertaking in the nation’s transport system? What are the risks to reform, and how is the government addressing them?

ANTHONY ALBANESE – Last Friday COAG met here in Canberra, and the Prime Minister got agreement from each of the premiers and territory leaders for national transport regulators. National transport regulators are absolutely vital in cutting this red tape that holds back the Australian economy and that causes safety issues because of the varying regulations that are there in the economy.

What I have here are real books—these are real books that exist in the cabs of D&S Haulage Pty Ltd. This is a company based in Tumby Bay in South Australia. The President, Mr David Smith, who I have met with a number of times, is the immediate past president of the Australian Livestock Transporters Association. These four folders are the actual paperwork, with the different state and territory regulations and approvals, that is in the cab of every one of the 16 trucks that he owns.

We will, as a result of last Friday’s efforts—with a $30 billion benefit to the national economy over 20 years—get rid of all of it, as a result of the reform. This is real, practical change as a result of this government’s commitment to microeconomic reform and improving productivity.

No more will they have to deal with different weight regulations.

No more will they have to deal with the current situation, whereby a B-double in Queensland can have 66 cattle on it, when they get to the New South Wales border they are only allowed 60 cattle. So what do they do? Offload the six cattle at the border, just like they have different weight provisions, just like they have different fatigue laws.

These are the real issues that this government is dealing with, which is why the Australian trucking industry, the livestock and transporters association, the Australian Logistics Council have all been working with this government to achieve this real change.

Meanwhile, those opposite have been working with a different organisation, and Mick Pattel, who organised of course the convoy of no consequence outside where a couple of hundred people gathered, with no support from the mainstream organisations. The people who believe in one world government, the people who believe in a conspiracy, along with the Leader of the Opposition.

The Trots have bigger demos outside my electorate office once a week.

The fact of the matter is this: we are getting on with working with the mainstream organisations, including the Australian Trucking Association, for real reform, real change, making a real difference to people’s lives and making a real difference to the economy.