AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Freight councils give government agencies ‘hands on’ advice

<p>Freight councils from around Australia met Australian Government agencies in Canberra on Monday (May 15) as part of a process to ensure strategic policy works out in practice.</p> <p>The Australian Freight Council Network comprises the respective industry bodies from all states and is engaged in an AusLink-funded research program encompassing infrastructure, people, innovation, sustainability, leadership and security in freight and logistics.</p> <p>The meetings saw network members exchange information and ideas with key departmental representatives involved in the government’s transport and logistics agenda. </p> <p>"We need the best possible insight into government thinking on forecasting, planning, security, funding and implementation across all transport modes," South Australian Freight Council chief executive Neil Murphy said. </p> <p>"At the same time, we want to provide government with the kind of `hands on’ advice that will ensure the best outcomes for everyone’s efforts."</p> <p>The network unanimously endorsed work being undertaken in four states on supply chain impediments, an example of the councils’s pragmatic attitude to problem-solving. </p> <p>The Mismatch of Working Hours Study in New South Wales, the Business Activity Harmonisation Study in Victoria, and workshops on sea freight supply chain impediments in Queensland and Western Australia, have highlighted the need for an industry change-management program tailored to the needs of each state. </p> <p>AFCN members have committed to pursuing this industry-led approach around the country, based on the success of Victoria’s harmonisation study project. </p> <p>The Victorian Freight and Logistics Council launched the study of activity in early 2005 in an effort to uncover money and time-wasting problems in the port-centred supply chain. </p> <p>What began as a drive to improve container handling in the port of Melbourne is now reaching out to key Victorian regional centres in an effort to share the lessons learned with local importers and exporters.</p> <p><em>"</em> The VFLC’s aim was to have those people with direct, day-to-day experience identify the issues that generate frustration and inefficiency," the chief executive of the council, Rose Elphick said. </p> <p>"We then went about involving all supply chain members, from individual truck operators to portside container depots to global shipping companies, in finding solutions."</p> <p>All states are now assessing the implications of the harmonisation study, which is likely to lead to industry-wide and national changes in processes and documentation. </p> <br />