Intermodal mindset needed in Victoria

VTA’s Peter Anderson says only greater federal-state coordination will help smooth the state’s supply chain

Intermodal mindset needed in Victoria
VTA CEO Peter Anderson


Ports, rail, roads: they’re all connected and all need to be considered together for the best possible supply chain. So Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson reminded delegates to the Victorian Transport Infrastructure Conference on Tuesday.

He highlighted what he says is an urgent need for improved coordination and reduced jurisdictional impediments between state and federal transport bodies. With this, policy makers should be prioritising intermodal connectivity when making infrastructure planning and spending decisions.

"By intermodal connectivity, I mean linking the ships that carry containerised and bulk goods to trucks and trains, which then use appropriate roads and railways to get those goods to their customers, and to end users," Anderson says. 

"This is where state and commonwealth policy makers need to more closely work together developing a clear, long-term vision.

"We need a plan that accommodates the big picture, and is not constrained by election cycles and jurisdictional duplication."

In a wide-ranging presentation, Anderson also pressed the transport industry’s desire to see specific infrastructure plans move into the project stages. In particular, he says the North-East Link – which would complete the Western Ring Road around Melbourne – remains the most critical. This is also the leading priority for the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria.

"[Melbourne’s road network] is a disjointed mishmash of new and old roads that lead everywhere and nowhere at the same time," Anderson says. "The consequence of this is that heavy vehicles that should be on free-flowing, dual-lane freeways, instead end up on inner city and suburban roads, not out of choice, but out of necessity."

The Victorian Transport Infrastructure Conference concludes today.

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