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Another example of Australian competitiveness

30 March 2006

Another example of Australian competitiveness

Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly says freight charges are yet another example of Australia being more competitive than New Zealand.

Commenting on Australia's decision last week to reject proposed increases in government charges on freight vehicles, Mr O'Reilly said the result was New Zealand freight charges continuing to be around 30% higher than Australia's.

"That means a significantly higher cost burden on New Zealand businesses and farms, especially exporters.

"It means most trucks in New Zealand pay twice as much in road user charges - up to NZ$20,000 a year more - as similar Australian trucks pay in equivalent charges.

"New Zealand is in competition with Australia for business investment and skilled employees. Industry by industry, we must get productivity improvements and cost efficiencies to improve our competitive position versus Australia.

"The Australian decision not to increase their charges was made on the basis of competitiveness. It's an example that New Zealand policymakers would do well to follow."

ENDS


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