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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2012
28 ALC ADVOCACY AND POLICY SUBMISSIONS National Transport Reforms In 2011, ALC again advocated a single agency to administer regulation of land transport in its submissions to the Draft National Heavy Vehicle Law and Regulatory Impact Statement (May) and on the Draft Rail Safety Bill (August). ALC advocated for its goal of a single set of national laws and a national regulator with 'teeth' to ensure the national laws operate uniformly. However, even if a move to a single national regulator for all forms of transport does not come about, ALC has advocated that the momentum for reform within each mode of transport must be maintained. On 19 August 2011, COAG signed Intergovernmental Agreements to establish a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and national regulators for marine safety and rail safety. Western Australia did not formally sign the Heavy Vehicle Regulator agreement, but expressed general support and will sign subject to its concerns being met. In the lead-up to the meeting, ALC joined Toll and Linfox in publishing an open letter to COAG stressing the importance of reform (see opposite). The letter said it was unreasonable and could lead to unsafe behaviour for truck drivers and their customers who load freight to have to consider different loading rules in each jurisdiction the truck might enter during its journey. A single regulator with a single set of national regulations would considerably improve productivity, efficiency and safety. Throughout 2011, ALC has represented the freight transport and logistics industry to promote reform and the economic benefits that flow from it. ALC has taken part in a number of industry/government workshops held by National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Project Office, NTC and the National Rail Safety Regulator Project Office to ensure legislation is national in name and practise, to minimise compliance costs and maximise economic returns. ALC Deputy Chairman Andrew Ethell was appointed as one of the three industry representatives on the National Heavy Vehicle Project Board. ALC has advocated, through the media, 10 amendments to the second national heavy vehicle bill to increase efficiency and reduce compliance costs. In 2011, ALC released its policy on national transport legislation. Its preferred position is for a single national regulator to deal with road, rail and sea transport, but in the interim ALC supports moves in each area separately to move to national models. An opinion piece by ALC, published in the Australian Financial Review in November 2011, highlighted the importance of the national transport reforms in the context of sagging productivity. Carbon tax The freight transport and logistics industry is ready to contribute to a lower-carbon future. Many industry members are investing in new technologies and equipment to reduce their carbon output and to improve energy efficiency. ALC has called on the government for greater support for, and investment in, initiatives such as smart fuel technology and low emission equipment. ALC has advocated that carbon should be taxed once and once only and it should be imposed equally across industry. As it now stands, the rail, aviation and maritime sectors will be paying an effective carbon price from 1 July 2012 through changes to their fuel tax credits and excise arrangements -- two years before heavy vehicles will be required to pay an equivalent price. ALC will continue to advocate equal treatment. The inconsistent treatment might disadvantage the forms of transport that offer the greatest savings of greenhouse gas emissions.