Freight Rail

Freight boss calls for development of Victorian infrastructure

Paula Wallace

Infrastructure development and the adoption of technology are the two key factors to drive change in the freight industry going forward, Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson has said.

Anderson spoke last week at the World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems.

The VTA represents 800 transport organisations operating not just within Victoria, but Australia. Indeed, the VTA has been around since the days when bullocks where the primary mode of transport, which Anderson suggested may in fact be faster than the current average speed of 15-17 km/h experienced on Melbourne’s roads.

“Our port is the busiest in the country and our ability to drive incremental infrastructure development has been restrained by the four year political process,” he said.

“The transport industry has freight to move, we have customers’ expectations and we have incremental increases in our costs to serve.”

Anderson said infrastructure development in Victoria had been overlooked for many years.

“Our last major road project was completed some five years ago in Peninsula link. Rail freight development has been non-existent and a future transport plan has been shelved.

“However, this current Victorian Government understands the importance of infrastructure investment and the need for long term planning of both people and freight movement within the community,” he said.

Anderson cited $30 billion in current infrastructure development that will be completed over the next 10-15 years, including access upgrades to the Port of Melbourne for high productivity freight vehicles.

Speaking on the subject of ITS, he said that any technology “must keep up with our basic needs”.

“Productivity and efficiency must be driving forces for any ITS supplier in the development and introduction of new technology,” he said.

“ITS technology developments are primarily doing this, however, the ability for operators to see the material value and customer advantage is difficult.

“The heavy vehicle industry needs the technology to be developed and introduced at a pace upon which it can keep up. That is, making sure that the margin of the business is included in the outcome determinations.”