This is no time for personality politics

Next month’s Federal election is being fiercely contested in marginal seats around the country. Though even the most traditionally secure seats cannot be taken for granted. Every vote will make a difference to the outcome.

Even bookmakers are playing it safe, with relatively short odds on both major party’s chances of forming the next government after 21 May.

When politicians play the man instead of the situation, it can easily result in votes being cast for the wrong reasons.

Rather than electing our government based on how it will manage the economy, jobs, education, health and security, voters are all too inclined to vote for a local candidate based on their image, or their leader’s image.

The last few years have tested every individual’s resilience, let alone that of the country. Every Australian has been impacted by issues affecting the supply chain, ranging from bushfires to floods, to the pandemic and war.

Now those pressures are hitting people’s wallets, savings and investments – with inflation and the threat of interest rate rises putting cost of living pressures at levels not experienced in well over a decade.

HVIA has identified a range of policy issues that are crucial to the heavy vehicle industry and, by extension, affect every Australian.

The issues all fall under the theme “a strong heavy vehicle industry – vital for a resilient Australia.”

They address skills shortages, support for Australian manufacturing and productivity, safety and sustainability.

For instance, both major parties have expressed the need for increased support for Australian manufacturing. Over the next few weeks, we will be seeking more concrete detail on how that support will apply to our industry.

This is what we have asked for in HVIA’s 2022 Federal election policy roadmap:

HVIA has called for supply chains to be streamlined to avoid local production, delivery and support bottlenecks. The Government can do that by adding heavy vehicle manufacturing to Australia’s National Manufacturing priorities including explicit support in the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy.

We have asked the Government to prevent cheap overseas imports from flooding the market – that is, vehicles not suitable for our unique transport challenges, that could displace Australia’s innovative heavy trailer designers and builders. By speeding up regulatory approvals, reducing red tape and lowering compliance costs, the Government can be an effective partner to Australian industry.

Allowing high productivity vehicles on more routes will take the burden off Australia’s growing freight task. To do that the Government needs to prioritise improvements to bridges and other parts of the road network to facilitate access for more innovative and productive vehicles.

These are our manufacturing and productivity policies. See HVIA’s full 2022 election policy roadmap here.

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