THE recent Livestock Transporters and Country Bulk Carrier's Association (LTACBC) of WA annual conference in Busselton was opened by WA Transport Minister Simon O'Brien, the first WA transport minister to accept the invitation to officiate at the conference in six years.
Mr O'Brien re-affirmed his strong commitment to road transport and to make sure WA had a safe and efficient system that works with operators.
He said there was no benefit in the road transport industry being "at war" with the State Government as appeared to be the case in the past.
Mr O'Brien also made a strong commitment to make sure WA's interests were protected in the development of a national heavy vehicle regulator, saying WA would walk away from the process if there was any risk to its productivity and efficiency.
He said the Harvest Mass Management Scheme (HMMS) had been approved for operation this year and that Stage 1 of the James Point Port facility was heading in the right direction with amendments to the Metropolitan Regional Planning Scheme not attracting any disallowance motions in Parliament.
Association president Grant Robins highlighted the importance of policy makers understanding that rural transporters' fortunes had a direct bearing on primary producers' costs.
Changes to the regulatory environment that increased transport costs would inevitably be handed on to the customer and increases in input costs were one of the key areas that producers cite as denting their confidence about the future.
National heavy vehicle regulation, approaches to heavy vehicle charges and potential environmental levies all had to be monitored to keep costs under control.