The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has welcomed new government measures to support small businesses affected by the bushfire crisis.
The Australian Government has today announced grant funding, concessional loans, a dedicated contact point to access support, local economic development plans and tax relief for businesses who have suffered direct fire damage or have been economically impacted from bushfires that have swept the country.
“The new measures come as welcome news to affected Australian trucking businesses and will provide a great deal of assistance in getting them back on their feet,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said.
“Trucking is an industry of small businesses, accounting for 98 per cent of all trucking operators in Australia.
“The establishment of the Small Business Bushfire Financial Support Line will give small businesses the information they need to understand what support and assistance is available to them.
“Meanwhile, businesses that have sustained damage as a result of the fires will be able to access up to $50,000 in grant funding, or concessional loans of up to $500,000 for those who have suffered significant asset loss or a significant loss of revenue,” he said.
Mr Crouch said the ATA General Council would meet today to discuss the need for immediate income support for trucking businesses who may not have been in bushfire zones but are still affected.
“Hundreds of trucking businesses have lost income as a direct result of the bushfire crisis, incurring additional costs and setbacks due to road closures and lengthy delays,” Mr Crouch said.
“Following our council meeting, the ATA will join a teleconference with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to set out the trucking industry’s proposed assistance package for affected trucking businesses and employees,” he said.
Mr Crouch said the ATA had also been working with the Australian Tax Office to ensure trucking businesses who aren’t located in the bushfire affected postcodes but who have been affected can access tax relief.
“The ATA is on top of these issues and is taking action,” Mr Crouch said.
“We are working hard to make sure affected trucking businesses receive the greatest amount of support and assistance they possibly can,” he said.
The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.