New Freight Council entity for NSW

NSW freight councils to be wound up and replaced by new entity that will continue to enjoy funding from both state and federal governments

By Anna Game-Lopata |
June 10, 2010

Freight councils in NSW - including bodies representing sea and air freight -
will be wound up and replaced by a new entity that will continue to enjoy funding from both state and federal governments.

Representing the Australian Freight Councils Network, Victorian Freight and Logistics Council CEO Rose Elphick says the new advisory body will receive funding from the Federal Government's Nation Building Program as they have in the past.

While Elphick will not comment on the nature of the new entity to be formed in NSW, she says that it should be understood in the light of the overall push to integrate freight councils.

"We started out with dedicated modal councils, but now we’re looking for a more holistic approach to supply chain, and the changes to the NSW entity
are a reflection of this," Elphick says.

"Every jurisdiction needs an advisory body to act as a conduit between government and industry and NSW is a terribly important state in terms of freight.

"It has large of portion of the freight task, so government needs a fully participating freight advisory entity to be effective.

"As a jurisdiction, NSW has an interest in going forward with a new entity that has an advisory capacity, so I’m sure you’ll see that the vacancy is likely to be filled.

"The entity in NSW will be changing, but its advisory role will go on and it will be funded under the Freight Councils program."

"Expect to see some more information on that soon."

While government funding has recently been withdrawn from the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), which is now a fully self-funded body, Elphick says this is not the future for freight councils in the Australian network.

"Government will not be withdrawing any of the funding of any freight councils in the network including that of NSW," she confirms.

"The freight councils have funding for another 24 months until the funding cycle is complete.

"We have been through a review process to validate the efficacy of freight councils, which has resulted in some strategic redirection, however, there is a reason for government to support freight councils.

"Freight councils are as essential
to government as they are
to industry. It’s terribly important that government gets an overview of industry issues rather than becoming vulnerable to lobbying by interest groups.

"Taking a long term view of the supply chain is the role freight councils play, so getting that opinion is really high value to government.

"We would welcome a new body in NSW as a member of the Australian Freight Council Network and intend to give it all the support it needs."

Freight councils originated from the 'Supermarket to Asia’ initiative of the late 1990s, with a focus on international freight, which in Australia is a minority percentage of freight movements.

"Since that time, the importance of the domestic task has increased substantially and freight councils in each state have morphed to represent the whole supply chain," Elphic says.

"In 2004, we had four freight councils in Victoria, three merged, and finally the fourth. This is a sign of the times."

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