Industry backs Queensland State Infrastructure Plan


The ALC says the Plan paves the way for improved efficiency but falls short of substantial proposals

Industry backs Queensland State Infrastructure Plan
ALC MD Michael Kilgariff says Plan should boost the efficiency of Queensland supply chains.

 

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomes the Queensland Government’s State Infrastructure Plan, which recognises the needs for investment in transport infrastructure to boost freight growth and improve efficiency.

With freight transport expected to grow over the next 15 years, the Plan outlines the government's aim to improve safety, increase capacity and transport efficiency, and boost flood immunity and reliability on key freight routes.

The Plan states government’s investment will aim to "unlock" the transport system’s role in supply chains.

"The Plan recognises that freight movement across the state is forecast to increase from 871 million tonnes in 2010-11 to between 1,643 and 1,741 million tonnes by 2026," ALC MD Michael Kilgariff says.

"If we can squeeze just a one per cent improvement in our national supply chains, the economic benefits are significant, with research showing it would boost national GDP by $2 billion," Kilgariff says.

The Plan states that Queensland will continue to work collaboratively with local governments to ensure planning, funding and development of regional freight networks occurs.

"Taken in conjunction with Infrastructure Australia’s 15-Year Infrastructure Plan, the State Infrastructure Plan should boost the efficiency of Queensland supply chains and in turn, underpin economic growth," Kilgariff says.

The industry body is in favour of port and freight strategies, which, it says, helps highlight key investment areas within the transport and logistics sector.

"The Queensland Ports Strategy in particular is a policy instrument that particularly helps to identify (and therefore protect) the transport corridors and employment necessary to allow the efficient movement of freight from generation points to port.

"Infrastructure Australia has also recommended that a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy should be developed to put in place a long term plan incorporating the various, interlinked components of our national and international supply chains.

Kilgariff notes that a key consideration for the ALC is to place "positive legal duty" on decision makers to give effect to all freight and logistics plans and decisions governing land use.

"All too often, freight has been the ‘poor cousin’ when it comes to land development, and as such, key freight routes have been encroached upon or effectively built out," Kilgariff says.

The Plan outlines the government’s aim on improving integration between the road, rail, air and port systems in order to boost the state’s global competitiveness and economic performance.

"This includes taking account of the increase in containerisation and development of multi-modal hubs," the Plan states.

"The optimisation of port activity at the four priority ports, the Port of Brisbane and airports will support the state’s economy through better functioning supply chains and increased productivity, as well as having positive environmental impacts in regional areas."

While the ALC welcomes these proposals and the commitment of $95 million to the North Coast Line Capacity Improvement project, it expresses disappointment on a lack of "substantial commitment" to the Brisbane/Melbourne Inland Rail and the "necessary" port and freight infrastructure.

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