Tackle curfews for sake of uniformity says ALC


The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has backed the use of transport curfews as an example of the type of restrictive behaviour that needs to be tackled by uniform regulation of the industry. <br /><br /> The stakeholder consultation paper on the Future COAG Regulatory Reform Agenda highlights curfews imposed by local government as a common challenge facing the freight logistics industry and mentions explosives transport as being in need of harmonisiation. <br /><br /> The paper points out that these inhibit the extent to which operators can service the retail sector, particularly at night.

By Rob McKay | October 24, 2011

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has backed the use of transport curfews as an example of the type of restrictive behaviour that needs to be tackled by uniform regulation of the industry.

The stakeholder consultation paper on the Future COAG Regulatory Reform Agenda highlights curfews imposed by local government as a common challenge facing the freight logistics industry and mentions explosives transport as being in need of harmonisiation.

The paper points out that these inhibit the extent to which operators can service the retail sector, particularly at night.

It also noted state-based trailer-size regulations on linehaul and sore deliveries that Woolworths claims limits its freight capacity by 10-12 percent.

"It is significant that the Government has highlighted this issue, as restrictive curfews not only stifle efficiency in the sector, it can also lead to the perverse social outcome whereby trucks need to operate in peak periods, thereby adding to congestion and emissions, as well as posing a potential safety risk," ALC Managing Director Michael Kilgariff.

"Action on all these issues will assist in the delivery of the COAG objective to lift national productivity and allow transport operators to get products onto supermarket shelves efficiently and our exports to market at the lowest cost," he said.

The ALC also used its submission to the Commonwealth Government on the COAG Future Regulatory Reform Agenda to demand inconsistent regulation and red tape between states be abolished.

The freight logistics industry was concerned by the possibility that some state jurisdictions may choose to derogate from national schemes, which would significantly reduce the productivity and efficiency benefits of the national transport reforms, according to Kilgariff.

"There is little point in having a national regulatory framework if the states are granted too much leeway to go off in their own directions, which in effect will see the same state-based inconsistencies remain," he says.

"That is why the ALC submission calls on the COAG Reform Council to review cross jurisdictional regulatory reforms to report on the extent and economic impact of jurisdictional derogations."

Elsewhere, the stakeholder consultation paper raises explosives transportation regulation as part of a sector in need of uniformity, given that the Australian Industry Group estimates the explosives industry must comply with 4000 pages of regulation covering the lifecycle of the product.

It points out that companies transporting explosives must seek duplicate permissions and authorisations or use lengthy detours to bypass certain States and that vehicle modifications permitted in one State are not permitted in others.

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