NTC review to look at productivity in rail freight network

By: Jason Whittaker


The National Transport Commission (NTC) will look at productivity in rail freight as part of a strategic review into the

The National Transport Commission (NTC) will look at productivity in rail freight as part of a strategic review into the sector.

Improving rail productivity was a key priority identified through industry consultation for the NTC strategic plan. Federal and state transport ministers are also looking at rail through their National Transport Policy Framework.

"If Australia is to move people and freight safely and efficiently as the transport task grows, the performance of all transport modes must be optimised," says the NTC’s General Manager of Economics and Productivity, Meena Naidu.

"Several road freight productivity reforms are already underway. It’s now timely to lift the efficiency of the national transport system as a whole by exploring opportunities in the rail and intermodal sectors."

An information paper on rail productivity has highlighted issues and options which will be considered during the review, Naidu says. A number of those reform initiatives are already being addressed through the National Transport Policy Framework.

The NTC has already done considerable work on moving to a national rail safety regulator and the appointment of a national investigator on safety.

"Projects to audit nationally significant supply chains for grain, oil and gas, livestock, coal and intermodal freight are also underway," Naidu says.

Naidu says wide consultation with stakeholders, including a high-level strategic advisory group, is a priority.

A final policy statement which identifies the role of government will be completed for consideration by transport ministers in early 2009.

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