Tuesday 23rd Jul, 2019

ALC calls out lack of cohesive freight policy among election candidates

Freight rail track - stock - credit Shutterstock (8)
Photo: Shutterstock

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has stated that both major parties involved in the upcoming federal election have displayed a “lack of focus” regarding Australia’s supply chain.

The ALC stated that while the Liberal and Labor parties had made campaign announcements tangentially related to freight movement, there hadn’t been much regarding “freight-specific commitments”.

The comments came two weeks after the ALC’s delivery of the Freight: Delivering Opportunity for Australia report, which listed 39 freight-related priorities for the next Australian Government.

This list included a wide range of topics such as electric vehicles, Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) funding, rail corridors, heavy vehicle reform, airport curfews, and many more.

“If we are going to meet the challenges that arise from a growing population and remain internationally competitive, it is essential that our next Federal Government is ready to take decisive action,” said Coningham.

Coningham added that the freight logistics industry and related communities needed to hear more from both sides in the campaign’s final week to improve efficiency and safety of supply chains and enhance Australia’s international competitiveness.

He referred to Labor’s plans to establish an EV manufacturing and innovation strategy (Labor’s Plan for Electric Vehicle Innovation and Manufacturing) as a “positive step”, but added that moves such as a contestable fund for low emission vehicles and tax concessions for electric delivery vehicles would help to take this further.

“With our industry having secured a bipartisan commitment to finalise the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, this campaign is an ideal opportunity for both sides to set out clear plans to address the issues ALC members have identified as industry priorities,” he said.

The Australian Government released a report in April entitled Delivering on Freight.

The report details the Coalition’s commitment to a National Action Plan with the aim of achieving a nationally integrated freight system capable of benefiting from “a consistent and integrated regulatory environment”.

According to the report, freight volume in Australia is on track to double over the 20 years to 2030, with urban freight in particular set for significant growth of 80 per cent over the 20-year period from 2016–2036, a forecast that requires considerable supply chain efficiency improvements.

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