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Almost 600 NSW businesses have outlined their 2020 infrastructure and transport energy vision in a comprehensive survey by NRMA’s BusinessWise.
The 560 NRMA BusinessWise members want an ambitious investment in key arterial roads, public transport and research and development in alternative fuels. They believed this will reduce transport and petrol costs, improve travel times and strengthen Sydney’s economy.
NRMA BusinessWise provides roadside assistance and member benefits including fuel advice and discounts to more than 18,000 businesses in NSW and the ACT.
The BusinessWise 2020 survey found broad support for the construction of key roads in Sydney and an urgent investment in public transport, particularly on the Northern Beaches.
Businesses want the construction of the M4 Extension (72%) and the M2 to F3 Link (76%). There was also support for a public transport and road infrastructure corridor for the northern beaches (56%) and the completion of the F6 (50%).
The majority of businesses believed the M4 Extension (78%), the M2 to F3 (78%), the F6 (62%) and the northern beaches corridor (68%) would cut the amount of time their vehicles would spend in traffic.
Almost one-quarter believed the savings would be between 20 to 30 minutes or more for each vehicle in their fleet.
NRMA Director, Gary Punch, said this vision would improve productivity, cut fuel costs and emissions and leave businesses with more capital to invest in job growth and innovation.
“Our leaders are talking about the nation’s vision for 2020 – yet in Sydney today many of our BusinessWise members are sending their fleets out on roads that have barely improved since 1920,” Mr Punch said.
“We have one hundred years of catching up to do and the vision outlined by our BusinessWise members today presents a clear direction for the future growth of Sydney.”
The BusinessWise 2020 survey found businesses believed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), electricity, ethanol and hydrogen were viable alternative fuels for their fleets.
“Businesses are watching their profit margins get eaten away by rising petrol costs – they’re sick of it,” Mr Punch said.
“More than three-quarters are absorbing the additional cost rather than passing it on to their customers and it is hurting.
“One-in-five have already converted their fleets to alternative fuels and almost 80 per cent have said they would do so if the government provided incentives.
“Almost half (45%) are looking to convert their fleet to greener cars – a message that should not be lost on Australia’s manufacturing industry as it looks to build greener cars.”
The 2020 BusinessWise survey found two-thirds (63%) believed the appointment of Australia’s Petrol Commissioner, Pat Walker, would have a positive effect on their business.
There was also strong support for the Commissioner to be given the powers to:
• Order petrol companies to adjust their prices when found to be inflating their profit margins (94%)
• Fine oil companies (88%)
• Force oil companies to drop their prices to compensate motorists (72%)
“Petrol Commissioner Pat Walker should be left in no doubt about the level of support he enjoys from businesses who want him to succeed in his role,” Mr Punch said.
“If the Commissioner can succeed in dropping prices by about five to seven cents many of our BusinessWise members believe they would enjoy savings of at least 10 per cent on their transport costs.
“That’s money taken out of the coffers of big oil companies and reinvested by our BusinessWise members in hiring more staff and growing their business.”