ALC submission wants more rail, less red tape


Governments must focus on rail standards, network planning and regulations to remove supply chain bottlenecks, ALC argues

By Brad Gardner

Governments must focus on lifting rail standards, fast-tracking network planning and overhauling regulations if they are intent on removing supply chain bottlenecks, the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) argues.

In its submission to Infrastructure Australia, the ALC has submitted 23 cases of blockages which it says must be addressed.

The ALC’s submission breaks down the blockages into four areas: rail, intermodal, freight transport planning and streamlined regulations.

The 23 areas were identified by the ALC’s Infrastructure Steering Group, which saw a whole of supply chain approach and a reduction in red tape as keys to removing productivity impediments.

"These action areas were identified because they are considered to be the most critical issues needing attention and they offer the greatest potential to add value to the supply chain," the submission says.

It wants the states to put in place processes to accelerate infrastructure projects of economic significance, as well as greater efforts from governments to implement a national B-triple network plan and increase B-double access from production facilities to major freight routes.

In its submission, the ALC also advocates road pricing reform to encourage the adoption of high productivity vehicles as well as for governments to pay greater attention on planning infrastructure projects such as road corridors and port access links.

In light of the chaotic lead-up to fatigue management laws, the ALC is advocating streamlined regulations concerning fatigue laws as well as over-dimension vehicles and rail standards.

The ALC wants greater efforts to improve the Melbourne to Brisbane corridor and an expansion of the East-West rail network to accommodate the growth in the freight task.

Its submission calls for heavy vehicle operators to be given concessions if they use intermodal hubs. According to the ALC, this will encourage greater use of rail where applicable.

Short haul rail infrastructure should also be bankrolled, the submission argues, with freight-only tracks linked to intermodal hubs.

"These 23 supply chain blockages should be central to the decision making processes of governments and their agencies, including Infrastructure Australia," the ALC’s submission says.

Some of the issues identified are already being examined by the Federal Government through Infrastructure Australia, such as overhauling private-public partnership standards.

Infrastructure Australia is currently auditing the state of the nation’s infrastructure, with the findings to be compiled into a priority list to be handed to the Government by the end of the year.



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