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ALC reiterates national freight strategy call

Logistics council asks government to respond to the Infrastructure Australia Plan within first 30 days of its term


The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) is urging the Coalition, which has secured ‘lower house’ support to form government, to prioritise the creation of a national freight and supply chain strategy to promote efficiency and productivity across the transport sector.

It is also urging the government to respond to the Infrastructure Australia 15-Year Plan within its first 30 days of its term.

ALC MD Michael Kilgariff says the development of the strategy was the primary recommendation contained in ALC’s 2016 election priorities document, Getting the Supply Chain Right.

“The development of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, which would incorporate the various, interlinked components of our national and international supply chains, was one of the high-level recommendations contained in Infrastructure Australia’s 15-Year Plan released earlier this year,” Kilgariff says.

“The development of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy should be viewed as the next step of the economic reform agenda and in the same context as the white papers that have transformed many of Australia’s economically critical industries.

“The need for such a long-term, visionary approach to national supply chains is underscored by an ALC report which found the industry represented 8.6 per cent of the national economy and that a one per cent increase in supply chain efficiency can deliver a $2 billion benefit to Australia’s economy.

“The efficiency of Australia’s supply chains is critical to Australia’s future economic prospects, whether it be getting our exports to our ports, consumer goods to our supermarkets or delivering products to our doors.

“The volume of freight going through our ports and airports will grow inexorably over the next 30 years, with Infrastructure Australia predicting a 165 per cent increase in containerised trade from 2011 to 2031.

“It is therefore critical that we have a long-term plan to deal with this growth and to maximise the logistics sector’s benefits to the Australian economy.”

ALC says the industry should be closely involved in the development of the proposed strategy, which is expected to deliver economic and social benefits to the community.

It also recommends developing the strategy in the form of a productivity commission white paper.

“The strategy would map nationally significant supply chains and their access to supporting infrastructure, and recommend a series of reforms and investments to enable the more efficient movement of freight,” Kilgariff says.

“Such an approach would cover issues such as improved corridor protection, rail freight, improving heavy vehicle safety through a focus on technology and progressing reforms to heavy vehicle pricing and investment. 

“We cannot expect to achieve the economic and social dividend unless we have a comprehensive national plan that sets out a long-term framework for future investments and reforms.”

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