Sunday, August 22, 2010

Aussie Shipping And Trucking Waits For Post Election Deal

Green Party and Independents May Dictate Terms
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – The fact that Australia now faces a similar problem to that of Britain some months ago, with a hung Parliament reliant on political deals to enable one or other party to form an effective Government, leaves trucking and freight interests waiting with some trepidation.

Britain has seen what has so far proved to be a generally favourable response from all sectors of society to a Government which, at least so far, has seemed able to adapt its policies and move in the direction of general consensus. Australia’s future now rests largely in the hands of the single Green Party MP, Adam Bandt, plus the handful of Independent representatives selected in yesterday’s poll.

There is little doubt that the small clique outside the two parties fully comprehend that they have the capacity to be ‘Kingmakers’ but will be conscious that their views cannot be too extreme if they are to be taken seriously. Last weeks review of transport policy by the Australian Trucking Association closely examined how the two major parties would treat the freight industry if elected but now the views of the minority will also have to be considered.

Looking at the political beliefs of this small cadre of politico’s suddenly thrust into the limelight. With Labor taking around 52% of the vote, plus the known leanings of the Independents it seems likely that Labor will hold power, but not before certain promises for local reform, some of them transport related, are agreed to assure the new Government of sufficient support to continue in power. As to transport policy there may be general acceptance of the new Government’s avowed intent to allow larger capacity trucks whilst insisting on a national regulator for all commercial vehicles.

With the Greens anxious to increase charges for larger freight trucks and at least one of the Independents seeking trade restrictions in the form of increased import tariffs, transport could be a key part of negotiation in the coming days.