As the fires continue to burn across several states, the government’s attention has turned to the subject of bushfire assistance for the trucking industry. In a teleconference between Michael McCormack, Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and the Australian Trucking Association, as well as a number of other transport industry stakeholders, the feds showed they are taking a consultative approach to responding to the current bushfire crisis.
“I commend Deputy Prime Minister McCormack for his initiative in engaging with industry at this critical time,” said Geoff Crouch, ATA Chair. “The bushfire crisis has had devastating impacts on communities across the country, seeing the loss of lives, homes and businesses. It has also heavily impacted trucking businesses who have had to endure safety hazards, road closures and lengthy delays in getting much needed supplies to communities in need.”
During the teleconference, the Deputy Prime Minister thanked trucking businesses for the support they are providing the community. The discussion then included how the Australian Government can assist affected trucking businesses.
The ATA General Council will meet next Monday to develop a proposed assistance package for affected trucking businesses and employees, before a follow-up teleconference with the Deputy Prime Minister to provide a full outline of the trucking industry’s position and recommendations.
“In the longer term, the government must ensure infrastructure and bridges are rebuilt in accordance with bushfire resilient standards,” said Geoff. “The government must also take dramatically stronger action to address climate change.”
In addition to lobbying on behalf of its members, the ATA will roll out information to affected trucking operations. Geoff will also participate in a prime ministerial roundtable on the crisis, while Ben Maguire, ATA CEO, will participate in a roundtable with Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie.
For transport operators who have been impacted by these bushfires, the Australian Tax Office understand businesses in some areas cannot deal with tax affairs right now but rather the wellbeing and safety of themselves, their families and community.
For identified impacted postcodes, the ATO will automatically grant deferrals for lodgements and payments due.