ALC calls for land freight regulator

ALC says a single entity like the one proposed for heavy vehicle regulatior should be created to oversee the national land freight strategy

ALC calls for land freight regulator
ALC calls for land freight regulator

By Anna Game-Lopata | May 10, 2011

Peak Logistics body the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) says there should be a single land transport entity like the one proposed for heavy vehicle regulation to oversee the national land freight strategy.

ALC CEO Michael Kilgariff told the 2011 Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) International Conference an entity called 'Freight Australia' could seamlessly administer national land freight regulations.

"COAG has agreed to a national rail safety regulator and a national heavy vehicle regulator, while the Henry Review suggests a single agency should develop transport reforms and monitor their implementation by the states," Kilgariff told the conference last week.

"ALC believes a single land transport regulator with national jurisdiction across all modes would maximise the benefits
of the regulatory rationalisation."

Kilgariff says the new body would
hold responsibility
for ensuring the rigorous analysis of proposed infrastructure investments – broadly, the current role played by Infrastructure Australia.

"‘Freight Australia’ could be created within either Infrastructure Australia or the National Transport Commission with responsibilities including commissioning and analysing data and identifying infrastructure of national significance," he says.

The body
could also develop intermodal facilities, identify blockages affecting the transport and logistics chain and encourage the transfer of information across the T&L chain."

In its response to the Government’s National Land Freight Strategy Discussion Paper, the ALC demands immediate action on the national land freight effort, especially the preservation of infrastructure corridors.

"The success of the National Land Freight Strategy depends on aligning all the policy tools available to government and focusing them on improving national freight performance in a sustainable way," Kilgariff says.

"Governments must deal with the real challenges relating to ‘last mile issues’ and land-use mix choices now."

Kilgariff says a more formalised structure must be put in place to ensure the position of freight is recognised in the planning.

"It is also important funding is available to protect community amenities when a land use decision is made to ensure the Australian freight effort is advanced," Kilgariff says.

"It is important to acknowledge that as most Australian ports are in or near the centre of Australian cities, the interests of ensuring the efficient operation of Australian ports and the interests of residents may not always coincide."

"However ALC believes state, territory and local governments must make land-use decisions prioritising the efficient use of the infrastructure over other possible land uses."

The ALC submission points out freight often shares substantial sections of the national network with a far larger passenger demand.

"Accordingly, freight performance cannot be separated from overall performance of the network and how effectively passenger demand is managed," Kilgariff says.

"It is vital that a long-term and coordinated approach is taken to ensure freight and passenger demand and use of the network is effectively planned and managed to maximise performance and safety."

"This must include protection of key freight routes.

"The National Land Freight Strategy Discussion Paper goes some way towards the goal of a coordinated approach, for which the Government should be commended.

"However, the Government must now provide the detail as to how it will offer practical assistance in implementing a national strategy rather than high level rhetoric," Kilgariff says.

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