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VFLC warns of transport infrastructure updating needs

<p>A new report by an industry body warns that state and federal governments must pay close attention to physical and regulatory infrastructure if an expected doubling of Victoria’s freight volumes by 2020 is to be successfully managed.</p> <p>Victorian Freight and Logistics Council chairman John Begley said the report reflected the industry consensus that the state’s infrastructure, upon which its trade effort and economic wellbeing rested so heavily, needed substantial renewal and development if it was to keep pace with the demands placed upon it. </p> <p>Through extended and extensive consultation, industry had identified priority areas for delivery of new and improved infrastructure, and governments had crucial roles to play, he said. </p> <p>"These go beyond the physical provision of deeper shipping channels, better roads, stronger bridges and sustainable railways &#8211 they also include over-the-horizon planning for future land use, practical policy and regulation, adequate funding allocations, and strategic frameworks for private and public sector investment," Mr Begley said.</p> <p>The Council compiled the report, <em>Freight Forward: An Industry Perspective on Transport Infrastructure Requirements in Victoria</em> , to provide a statewide snapshot of current trends and future directions, from which a number of key messages to government have emerged.</p> <p>The chairman of the Infrastructure Working Group, Philip Lovel, said the logistics council study enabled governments to "plug directly in" to the concerns and forecasts of the freight industry as it strived to meet strong growth in transport, distribution and logistics and rapid changes in customer needs, for example, the shift to global rather than domestic sourcing of goods.</p> <p>"We need the government to understand where the pressure points lie over the next 10-15 years," Mr Lovel said. </p> <p>"An urgent issue right now is the future of intrastate rail freight, because the system is crumbling just at the time we’re trying to shift more freight from roads that can’t cope to rail that can &#8211 if infrastructure and access issues are properly addressed."</p> <p>The report was completed with the assistance of consultants Meyrick and Associates and is available from the VFLC website at</p> <br />