TRUCKING COMPANIES TO TAKE TO THE ROAD IN PROTEST


Road User Charges increase outrages industry

TRUCKING COMPANIES TO TAKE TO THE ROAD IN PROTEST
TRUCKING COMPANIES TO TAKE TO THE ROAD IN PROTEST

For the first time ever trucking companies are taking national protest action.

Trucking companies will protest in the major centres throughout New Zealand tomorrow (July 4) over the Government’s increase in Road User Charges, by driving trucks into the city centres between 7.30am and 9am.

"Our members are outraged that the increases took effect immediately and that the Minister of Transport has imposed the increases without giving the month’s notice she promised," Road Transport Forum Chief Executive Officer Tony Friedlander says.

"We are also protesting at the timing of the increase.  It could not be worse for our industry which is facing record fuel prices and other cost increases, or for the country as a whole as the economy heads into a recession.

"I have never known members to be so angry over any issue.  The protest action will disrupt people going to work.  We regret the inconvenience this may cause, but our members are convinced they have to take direct action to make the Government listen.  We have tried talking to the Minister but this has not worked.  Our members hope protest action will impress upon her the vulnerable state of businesses across the country and convince her that an undertaking once given must be kept."

The New Zealand trucking industry has never taken national protest action in its long history, so this decision to protest has not been taken lightly, Mr Friedlander says.   "But members have finally had enough of the way this Government is treating them. We are a very moderate and responsible industry but we believe the Government is exploiting our willingness to be reasonable.  We are now reluctantly protesting so that the Government will listen and treat our industry with commonsense and respect."

Further follow-up protest action may be taken if it is necessary, Mr Friedlander says.

Deals On Wheels magazine will be out in full force to support the truckies. Check the website tomorrow for coverage of the protest, and the August issue on sale 14 July.

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