Woolies Luscombe talks green, hits out at inland rail delays

By: Jason Whittaker


Woolworths CEO Michael Luscombe has added his voice to calls for an inland rail link between Melbourne and Brisbane, in

Woolworths CEO Michael Luscombe has added his voice to calls for an inland rail link between Melbourne and Brisbane, in a speech highly critical of Australia's infrastructure networks.

Luscombe, a former logistics manager with the retail leader, outlined his thoughts on supply chain management - an area he says "fascinates and frustrates me" - in a speech to the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) forum on Friday.

The Woolworths chief talked of the need for efficient transport links and timely investment, saying the former Howard Government had dragged its feet on the long-mooted inland rail line.

He urged the new Labor Government to move on the plans, a massive investment he says is justified by the benefits.

Luscombe also hit out at inconsistent road regulation and ports which "classically are inefficient".

He says Woolworths is "probably" the biggest logistics company in Australia, serving 15 million customers a week with 100,000 truck movements per month.

"Logistics has the power to build bridges, literally and figuratively," he says.

Luscombe also outlined the challenge of climate change for the retailer, highlighting a number of initiatives designed to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 40 percent.

The retailer is testing cleaner Euro 5 engines on its trucks and using more bio-diesel to power its sizable fleet in Victoria.

Luscombe says it is about "doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do".

More from Michael Luscombe and Woolworths' supply chain strategy in the next editions of ATN and SupplyChain Review magazines.

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