ALC greets federal reshuffle with efficiency call

CEO Michael Kilgariff says care needs to be taken to avoid overlap or gaps between portfolios

ALC greets federal reshuffle with efficiency call
Michael Kilgariff has concerns about duplication.


The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) says the new Federal Government ministry must make supply chain efficiency one of its priorities.

CEO Michael Kilgariff welcomed the reappointment of infrastructure minister Warren Truss and the appointment of Jamie Briggs as cities and built environment minister in new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s reshuffle, announced yesterday.

But Kilgariff also warned against the possibility of duplication across ministerial portfolios.

"ALC congratulates Prime Minister Turnbull on his decision to create a portfolio of Cities and the Built Environment, which acknowledges the critical role our major population centres play in supporting our economic growth," he says.

"While ALC supports greater federal focus and ministerial responsibility for cites, we also note Briggs’ ministerial responsibilities fall within the "environment" portfolio.

"It is critical there not be duplication or overlap between these ministerial responsibilities, particularly as they relate to major freight projects. Freight cannot fall between the cracks, particularly when it comes to responsibility for major infrastructure projects."

Kilgariff says a more coordinated and consistent national approach to metropolitan freight requirements was needed across all levels of government.

"The central point made by ALC in its recent submission to Infrastructure Australia, was the range of policy and investment issues requiring greater government focus," he says.

"These planning and investment challenges include ensuring there are effective road and rail links to the ports, avoiding urban encroachment around key freight routes, protecting future freight corridors, untangling freight rail and passenger rail, and supporting the growth of metropolitan intermodal terminals."

While many are celebrating the new ministry’s implied focus on freight and infrastructure, the small business community has raised concerns over the demotion of small business minister Bruce Billson.

Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) CEO Peter Strong says Billson had been doing a "fabulous" job and the decision to remove him has "sent a shockwave" through the sector.

"A great minister doing a fabulous job, who has received intense praise from small business for his measurable level of success is no longer in the job – did vested interests in big business successfully have Bruce removed because he created fairness?" he questions.

Still, Strong says he is looking forward to the well-credentialed Kelly O’Dwyer picking up where Bilson has left off.

"The appointment of a woman into this role, who is also in cabinet, augers well for the hundreds of thousands of women, probably more than 1.2 million, who run their own businesses," he says.

"We congratulate Kelly O’Dwyer on her promotion to the role and look forward to catching up and discussing issues of immediate relevance to the 2.1 million small business people who employ over five million additional taxpayers."

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