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Competitiveness call from first WA freight summit

Summit focused on how freight industry can help grow jobs and boost economic diversification in WA


Boosting the competitiveness of Western Australia’s supply chain was a central theme of the state’s inaugural Freight and Logistics Summit.

Representatives from the state government and crucial sectors of the state economy joined with freight and transport professionals from road transport, aviation and shipping to explore how WA’s global and domestic supply chain competitiveness could be improved and how the economic potential of Its regions could be further unlocked.

The summit was opened by transport minister Rita Saffioti and organised by the Western Australian Road Transport Association (WARTA), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) and the Freight and Logistics Council of Western Australia (FLCWA).

WARTA executive officer Cam Dumesny says summit delegates were particularly focused on how the freight industry could help grow jobs and enable economic diversification in WA through safer and more globally-competitive supply chains.

“As WA’s businesses look to diversify and expand into new markets, we must have a freight industry capable of ensuring that industry can compete – it was absolutely encouraging that participants at the summit recognised that we need to co-operate and think in terms of global leadership, if we are to overcome WA’s isolation from global and domestic markets,” Dumesny says.

CCI CEO Deidre Willmott said WA industry looks forward to working with Saffioti and the government to identify key infrastructure projects that would facilitate freight movement and stimulate national economic growth.

“CCI and the WA business community has welcomed the state government’s commitment to establishing Infrastructure WA and congratulates the government for successfully securing $1.6 billion in federal funding for WA road and rail projects – a competitive national and state transport network is critical for WA to be a world-leading place to live and do business,” Willmott says.

FLCWA chair Nicole Lockwood says the Council was delighted to be a partner for this landmark event for the freight and logistics sector.  

“With the Inquiry into a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy underway, (the) outcomes provide valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities for WA – the Freight and Logistics Council of WA looks forward to working with industry and government to pursue the actions from the summit,” Lockwood adds.

Meanwhile, Curtin University announced at the summit that Curtin will undertake a scoping study to explore opportunities for the establishment of a collaborative Research and Education Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management in WA.

“The centre would seek to leverage the vast expertise of key industry, Government and research partners to undertake applied research and educational activities that improve efficiencies and economic outcomes throughout the supply chain,” Curtin University deputy vice-chancellor research Professor Chris Moran says.

“Curtin invites industry and government stakeholders to participate in the scoping activity, including the mapping of industry needs and opportunities; identification of local expertise and potential synergies; and options for future research collaboration.”

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