The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has welcomed key freight infrastructure investments contained in the federal budget, which they say will help lay the groundwork for smooth implementation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
“ALC is particularly pleased by the commitment of $400 million for the duplication of the freight rail line at Port Botany,”said ALC Managing Director, Michael Kilgariff.
“As discussions at ALC Forum 2018 highlighted, boosting the use of short-haul rail from ports to intermodal terminals forms an essential part of efforts to enhance supply chain efficiency and safety.
“That was why supporting the growth of intermodal terminals was such a focus in Freight Doesn’t Vote, ALC’s major submission to the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities.”
The ALC has also welcomed the investment being made in Queensland’s North Coast Rail Line, which will help assist freight rail efficiency in that state.
“Urban road congestion is not just an irritation for commuters in Australia’s major cities, but it has an enormous impact on the efficiency and cost of road freight movement,” said Mr Kilgariff.
Implementation of Supply Chain Strategy a positive step
“Accordingly, the expansion of the Urban Congestion Fund to tackle this problem across all capital cities is an enormously welcome step, as are the investments to upgrade key freight routes thorough the $3.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance initiative.”
However, ALC expressed concern the Government has not taken the opportunity to establish a dedicated Freight Strategy and Planning Division within the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities.
“Such a body is essential to ensure that the movement of freight is effectively monitored, analysed and prioritised in policy-making,” Mr Kilgariff said.
“ALC also notes the Budget contains $5 million over four years to assist in the implementation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
“This is a positive step, which will hopefully promote close government engagement with industry participants throughout the implementation phase of the Strategy.
“Future Budgets will need to further support effective delivery of the Strategy by continuing to invest in freight-specific initiatives, helping to reduce freight costs and ensuring we achieve the outcomes this industry needs.”