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Budget delivers trucking investment and safety boosts

07 October 2020
The introduction of temporary full expensing will drive trucking business investment and encourage the purchase of new, safer trucks and trailers, Chair of the Australian Trucking Association David Smith said today.  
Responding to the overnight announcement of the 2021 Federal Budget, Mr Smith said the announcement followed extensive lobbying by the ATA and its member associations for measures to encourage more investment in new and late model second hand trucking equipment.  
“This is a massive win for the ATA and our members. Businesses with a turnover of up to $5 billion will be able to write off the full value of any new eligible asset they purchase for their business. For small and medium businesses, this will also include second-hand assets,” Mr Smith said. 
“This is a game changer that will unlock investment in upgraded truck fleets. It will support jobs and put newer, safer and greener trucks on the road.  
“The importance of its application to trucking was highlighted by the Treasurer last night, who said in his budget speech that: ‘A trucking company will be able to upgrade its fleet.’  
“The new support announced last night will extend support to 30 June 2022. 
“The ATA also welcomes new support for businesses with a turnover up to $5 billion to temporarily offset tax losses against previous profits and the new JobMaker Hiring Credit to support creating jobs for young Australians,” he said.  
The budget announcement sets out the Government’s $110 billion infrastructure pipeline, including $14 billion in new and accelerated infrastructure.  
“2020 has been a reminder of how critical roads and supply chains are in keeping communities supplied,” Mr Smith said.  
“Building better and safer roads will boost the Australian economy and provide better access for moving goods to consumers and global markets,” he said.  
Mr Smith said the ATA strongly supported the Government’s investment in road safety, with the Government to invest an additional $2 billion into targeted road safety works and $5.5 million to establish a National Road Safety Data Hub. 
“Without good quality and accessible road safety data, we can’t track the progress of road safety strategies, we can’t identify the reasons when policies fail and we can’t use evidence to set priorities,” Mr Smith said. 
“Last year the ATA joined with the AAA and other peak road safety organisations to call for better data, which is reliable, consistent, integrated and open. 
“Improving the assessment and selection of infrastructure projects is a key reform priority for the ATA, and we also strongly welcome the Budget’s additional funds for Infrastructure Australia to expand the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan and undertake a comprehensive reset of the Infrastructure Australia Assessment Framework,” he said.  
$1.2 billion has been announced to support businesses to employ 100,000 new apprentices or trainees under a new apprenticeship support program. Under the program, businesses can apply for a 50 per cent wage subsidy to take on new apprentices regardless of location, industry or business size.  
“This is a strong investment in skills and will support the training of new apprentices and trainees, including diesel mechanics and drivers and logistics workers undertaking traineeships,” Mr Smith said.  
“These roles are critical to trucking and part of the diverse and professional career options in our industry,” he said.  
The Australian Trucking Association and its member associations collectively represent the businesses and people of the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.