ALC Forum: Rail focus as port probe progresses

Albanese talks 'long game'; industry diversity in spotlight

ALC Forum: Rail focus as port probe progresses
Anthony Albanese with ALC CEO Kirk Coningham (right) and chair Phil Davies


Victorian freight minister Melissa Horne has confirmed her government is progressing its probe into infrastructure surcharging at the Port of Melbourne.

Speaking at the Australian Logistics Council’s Forum 2019, Horne focuses on the state government’s support for rail freight and the charges comment was couched in those terms.

"We have made a commitment in the freight plan to look at access charges at the Port of Melbourne," she says.

"In particular, to making sure that the access charges on trains do not disadvantage exporters who opt for rail over road."

The National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy has been a focus of previous ALC forums. Read more, here

Two days before International Women’s Day, National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) national director Louise Weine underlined the productivity and operational gains for companies with diversity along with the glacially slow pace of change, noting that it will take more than a century at the present rate to achieve a gender balance in transport and logistics.

Her organisation identifies three key drivers for pragmatic action in firms: Defining gains from diversity for leaders and their teams; Supporting leaders at all levels to build and lead diverse teams; Actively challenging social paradigms and dealing with bias as an existing human condition.

Weine also presents three actions to attract and retain women.

These are: How well an organisation goes to market for talented female staff will have an impact on the number who apply; Where the candidate pool is very small, introduce initiatives at entry level; Enable people to work in agile and flexible ways.

On the last point, she states they are "absolutely key enablers to attracting women into your organisation".

Two further notes on recruiting women were that they are more inclined to apply if there are pledges around training and safety and that gender awareness is crucial for the approach of recruiters and in advertising.

Meanwhile, federal opposition infrastructure and transport spokesman Anthony Albanese outlines his approach to government, if elected, with emphasis on Infrastructure Australia (IA) and the rail sector.

Albanese confirms he aims to retake the position relinquished on losing government, saying he relished "playing the long game".

"That’s why I’m attracted to this portfolio," he says.

Albanese makes plain his belief that AI has become politicised and is in need of a reset.

He supports and will build on the new national freight strategy as "the country will be stuffed" if such work is routinely ditched at the start of any new government.

On Inland Rail, he signalled a resolving of the Acacia Ridge-Port of Brisbane link.

He also defends stoutly Labor’s strategic shipping fleet on national strategic grounds and insists maritime union interests will not trump national interests on his watch.


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