ALC fears effect of planning shortfalls

COAG and ALC reports put spotlight on difficulties with implementation and strategic issues

April 2, 2012

The Australia Logistics Council (ALC) has expressed concern at the lack of progress on strategic planning in capital cities.

The issue is in high definition following the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Reform Council (CRC) finding - in its report, The Review of Capital City Strategic Planning Systems -that governments have failed to tackle adequately strategic planning for nationally significant economic infrastructure.

Unless rectified, ALC Managing Director Michael Kilgariff foresees the status quo as resulting in "significant economic costs to the nation through reduced industry efficiency, as well as a reduced standard of living in our cities from inappropriate development occurring around key infrastructure and freight facilities".

"The CRC report reveals a number of planning systems do not have clear strategies for matching expected growth in the use of their ports and airports with capacity for these facilities,’ Kilgariff says, singling out those for Sydney and Melbourne as the main offenders.

The CRC report comes hot on the heels of the Economic Connections report for ALC, released at its Forum late last week, on supply-chain bottlenecks and impediments, calledTowards an Efficient Freight Future.

Both reports highlighted the shortfalls in implementation as a major drawback to government performance on infrastructure development.

The ALC report was a follow-up to its 2008 effort, Australia’s Supply Chains – Fixing the Blockages, which had identified 23 crucial issues.

On road haulage-related issues, the ALC report highlighted the lack of reference to the development of a national B-double and B-triple network, though it notes that this may be addressed by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), along with the reduction on regulatory barriers to high productivity vehicles and the treatment ofover dimension vehicles.

It states that the National Road Safety Regulator "should lead to more consistent enforcement of fatigue provisions".

The report highlights that lack of substantial action on road pricing, and call for COAG and the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI)

The ALC is seeking "transparent and detailed reporting"on implementation of the national strategies and infrastructure proposals that Infrastructure Australia has identified.

It also wants federal infrastructure funding conditional on delivery of key freight and logistics reforms.

For its part, the CRC wants continued intergovernmental collaboration on strategic planning.

Echoing the ALC report, its report
seeks clear frameworks for measuring progress and monitoring implementation of strategic planning in cities.

COAG Reform Council Chairman Paul McClintock says governments need to get better at bringing together different aspects of their city planning.

"Just like you can't solve a Rubik’s cube one side at a time, you can't deal with land use, infrastructure and economic development separately," McClintock says

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