SAFC wants transport regulatory overhaul across state

New paper recommends improved access for HPFV and heavy vehicle charging regime rethink

SAFC wants transport regulatory overhaul across state
Knapp wants authorities to reconsider existing transport regulations.


The South Australian Freight Council (SAFC) says there is an "urgent" need to overhaul existing transport regulations in South Australia.

Its new paper, Regulating Freight 2017, is a blueprint for how these regulations should be reformed by the authorities.

SAFC executive officer Evan Knapp says it is important to prepare the state to face fresh challenges in the face of changing market and environment conditions.

"Old industries are in decline. New industries are developing. Technology is rapidly changing the way we do business and the systems and equipment that is available to our industry," Knapp says.

"An efficient regulatory environment for the transport and logistics sector will benefit all business through reduced cost structures; and every household through reduced costs for consumer goods.

"Regulating Freight 2017 provides a blueprint for how transport regulation should be reformed by governments and transport regulators, and highlights specific urgently required transport regulatory reforms."

Knapp says the T&L industry wants improved access for high productivity freight vehicles (HPFV) across the state.

"A ‘step change’ is needed in regulatory thinking for the transport industry, to free us to deliver lower costs to consumers and SA’s exporters, as well as better safety outcomes, particularly on our roads," he says.

"While it might sound counterintuitive, bigger trucks save lives by reducing total truck numbers; and also deliver productivity and environmental gains for the benefit of the broader economy."

One of the key recommendations of SAFC’s new paper is to turn Adelaide’s primary freight routes and major traffic routes into 24/7 clearways to reduce road congestion and improve freight productivity.

Knapp says travel time surveys show consistent decline in traffic flows across the board, with an RAA travel time survey indicating the average travel time along South Road to be 41km/h in the afternoon peak in 1996, compared with only 27km/h in 2016.

Main North Road afternoon peak speeds have declined from 35km/h to 27 km/h over the same time period, he says.

"Parked cars effectively remove a full lane for extensive lengths on some key corridors - and international transport research backs this approach.

"SAFC is proposing a four year transition time to full 24/7 clearway operation, however morning and evening peak clearways should be implemented immediately.

Some of the key recommendations of Regulating Freight 2017 include:

  • facilitating improved access for high productivity vehicles and working with industry to reinvestigate appropriate heavy vehicle charging regimes
  • improving planning and strategy development through greater industry consultation and participation in the development of crucial strategies affecting the industry
  • implementing proposed amendments to the Coastal Trading Act to remove complexity, whilst ensuring that there is no undue skewing of the competitive environment between the modes
  • reducing delays on key freight routes caused by roadside parking and cyclists by extending clearway times and funnelling cyclists onto adjacent corridors wherever practical
  • facilitating the use of newer, quieter aircraft during the Adelaide Airport curfew
  • introducing an accelerated depreciation scheme aimed at of improving transport safety outcomes and lowering total transport emissions
  • reducing the forklift operating age from 18 to 16 years and introducing competency based licensing assessment
  • clarifying chain of responsibility (COR) roles and improving safety outcomes through police reporting
  • merging access regimes to improve port and rail infrastructure access and development
  • harmonising Customs laws with Australian and international standards
  • ensuring that mechanisms are in place to identify future regulatory needs and address emerging regulatory issues and opportunities.

"The transport and logistics industry underpins every aspect of our state economy – every business requires inputs, and the majority also require our services to deliver products to customers and end consumers," Knapp says.

"Efficient, effective and safe regulation of transport activities is a competitive advantage that as a state (and nation) we cannot afford to ignore.

"A 2010 study commissioned by SAFC concluded that a 10 per cent efficiency improvement could increase Gross State Product annually by $810 million and result in the order of 8500 new jobs; and more recent national studies have broadly agreed.

"Getting transport and logistics regulation right is an opportunity to big to ignore." 

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