Friday, January 21, 2011

Woes Continue For Aussie Truck And Logistics Companies

However Some Help Available for Stricken Businesses
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – Without the beating heart of ore and agriculture the freight and haulage operations which form the arteries and veins that carry produce to ports and markets wither and die and one can barely imagine the trauma being suffered by the employees and small logistics operators who live in, or derive an income from, a flood affected area, wherever in the world it may be.

In Australia over a third of Victoria has been inundated and the estimates for the eventual cost keep rising speculatively by the day. Whole industries have been decimated, vast tracts of land bearing Queensland’s valuable flower crop lie underwater, many mines remain flooded. The Government are studying ways to reduce public spending to compensate for the losses, cutting back on schemes like Britain’s ‘Bangers for Cash’ scheme which stimulated new car sales last year, the Aussie ‘Cash for Clunkers’ is expected to be dropped any day along with other projects.

Latest estimates put the damage at around A$20 billion with lost coal, cotton and flower exports accounting for about A£3 billion but miraculously damage to livestock farmers has been comparatively light. The National Government has announced a Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy of about $500 per fortnight for small trucking firms and the Victorian Government initiated a grant payment scheme for any small business which has suffered damage to their premises and equipment, this week increasing the maximum from A$15,000 to A$25,000 with low interest rate loans also made available. The Australian Government have declared all such grants to be tax exempt.

The Queensland Government have a web page devoted to flooded roads and incidents and closures which can be accessed HERE. As usual the Australian Trucking Association is on the ball and has issued fact sheets to assist small trucking companies in affected areas. For a Victorian fact sheet look HERE and for Queensland and New South Wales HERE.