Trucking industry included in grain export review


The trucking industry will now take part in a high-level review into NSW’s grain export network after it was originally excluded.

The trucking industry will now take part in a high-level review into NSW’s grain export network, after it was originally excluded.

The industry questioned the effectiveness of the review taskforce announced by the Government because it only included government bodies, Pacific National, El Zorro and the Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Union.

There was was no road freight representation despite the fact trucks are needed to cart grain from the paddocks to the rail line.

"The fact is you will always need a mix of high-productivity trucks moving grain efficiently to cost-effective rail networks," Australian Livestock Transporters Association Executive Director Luke Fraser says.

But lobbying efforts from the ALTA as well as the Livestock Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) means the industry will now play an active role.

"The understanding is road freight operators will be directly participating," LBCA Executive Director Andrew Higginson says.

The decision to include the industry comes amid predictions of a surge in this year’s grain harvest.

Australian Road Train Association (ARTA) Chef Executive Duncan Bremner says there are not enough trucks to meet demand due to labour shortages.

The taskforce is part of a $3 million investment to develop measures to improve grain exports.

"The review will examine grain freight supply chains and identify the most sustainable, long-term solution for moving grain efficiently from farmer to customer," Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese says.

The taskforce will address cropping patterns, densities, innovations and climate change.

The review will also determine the impact of regulatory reform, market demand for grain and the capacity of supply chain infrastructure and other transport options in the short, medium and long term.

In making its findings, Albanese says the review will draw on previous work by the NSW Grain Infrastructure Advisory Committee.

He says it is necessary to boost grain transport efficiency because it produces between five and six million tonnes of grain to meet domestic demand and export markets.

The taskforce will report to the Government in May 2009.

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