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Remote regions raise freight issues profile

Transport’s role as economic-growth enabler put in sharp relief in Alice Springs


Transport industry and business interests from the Australia’s centre, north and north-west are focusing on economic and productivity issues in regions needing a boost.

This week’s Central Australia Freight & Logistics Forum at the Alice Springs Chamber of Commerce, under the auspices of Northern Territory Road Transport Association (NTRTA), Western Australia’s Western Roads Federation (WRF) and Chamber of Commerce NT, is one of a series of events in more remote areas.

A clear theme of the events is that efficient and safe road transport enables economic growth.

Read how the federal government is advised to tackle OSOM reform, here

Organisers WRF CEO Cam Dumesny and NTRTA executive officer Louise Bilato tell ATN that six main points were made plain during the first event.

  • risks need to be reduced, so operators and businesses were updated on HVNL changes and also the growing importance of mental health, especially in remote areas.
  • operators and businesses highlighted the need to invest in remote roads, where maintenance costs can be three times higher. Trip times three to four times longer meaning less efficiency and greater impact on fatigue management
  • new significant economic opportunities were identified that could become viable if roads were made all-weather and bitumenised, creating jobs in central Australia and western WA where road connectivity could be achieved
  • new more efficient and time saving over-size over-mass (OSOM) routes were identified, along with Defence strategic alignment
  • a severe shortage of skilled drivers is holding back growth
  • the transport industry in WA and NT transport needs to take a strong national leadership role in driving greater the agenda to open up remote Australia.

On the last point, the NTRTA and the WRF, who conducted the event have agreed to take the leadership role.

Similar events will be held next week in Kununurra, Broome and Karratha.


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