Tassie farmers look for strategic freight plan


Farmers and graziers association will build a freight advisory group among members

Tassie farmers look for strategic freight plan
The TFGA plans to increase its focus on freight issues

 

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association is setting up a dedicated freight advisory group internally.

Rural affairs manager Nick Steel says the agricultural sector relies heavily on the Tasmanian freight industry, whether it is moving goods to local, interstate, or international markets.

That naturally aligns the interests of both industries in a state that suffers a natural disconnect from the rest of Australia.

"Freight and logistics are one of the biggest challenges impeding Tasmanian agriculture," he says.

The TFGA held a policy forum in Launceston at the beginning of this month, at which it resolved to form the freight advisory group.

Steel says he hopes it will contribute toward development of a comprehensive state-wide logistics plan for agricultural suppliers. Currently, there is no single document covering the transport of primary producers.

Speaking to the Victorian Transport Association’s Port Outlook seminar last week, Tasmanian Logistics Committee chairman Steve Henty said Tasmania’s freight issues were linked closely with those of the Port of Melbourne.

"Bass Strait is the gateway to Tasmania," he says. "Ninety-seven per cent of interstate freight goes through the Port of Melbourne."

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