Albo takes swipe at narrow-minded interests

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese accuses associations with narrow agendas of being in the past and pushing "tired policy debates"

By Brad Gardner | March 3, 2010

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has taken a swipe at associations with narrow agendas, accusing them of engaging in "tired policy debates".

During his address to the Australian Logistics Council's (ALC) annual gathering, Albanese told attendees the diversity of operators in the transport and logistics sector means associations need to focus on multi-modal issues.

" is particularly pleasing to be addressing the annual forum of the Australian Logistics Council...A forum removed from the tired policy debates of the past," Albanese says.

"A forum that rejects the negative frame that pits one mode of transport against another, and is instead focussed on the positive frame of improving the efficiency and safety of freight supply chains."

Albanese also used his speech to reiterate the Government's investment in the freight network, saying it is committed to improving the transport and logistics sector.

"We are investing almost $36 billion over six years to modernise and maintain the nation's road, rail and port infrastructure," he says.

Albanese told the forum a national approach is vital to improve Australia's economic performance.

He says the appointment of a national rail regulator based in South Australia and the establishment of a single heavy vehicle regulator based in Queensland will improve efficiency and safety.

"I stress that these will be national regulators, not the current state regulators with an expanded role," Albanese says, adding that the regulators will be operational by 2013.

While Infrastructure Australia works on a national freight network plan, Albanese says last week's release of a draft national ports strategy has already generated strong interest.

"I understand there was some robust discussion on some key issues, such as long term masterplans for nationally significant ports, and the right model for nationally consistent approvals for port precincts, channels and freight corridors," he says.

The final proposed plan will go to Albanese later this year.

"The Rudd Government supports a nationally consistent and co-ordinated approach to the major ports so critical to our future," he says.

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