While states and territories have committed to initiatives to implement the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy (NFSCS), a lack of deadlines means there remain gaps in the national approach behind the strategy, the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has found.
The ALC released its first scorecard on the implementation of the NFSCS on Monday, December 7.
The scorecard tracks states’ and territories’ progress in implementing the NFSCS. Agreed upon by the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council in August 2019, the NFSCS aims to enhance the efficiency and safety of Australia’s supply chains.
To meet these goals, states are tasked with implementing a National Action Plan which covers four key focus areas: smarter and targeted infrastructure investment; improve supply chain efficiency; better planning, coordination, and regulation; and better freight location and performance data.
The scorecard holds states accountable to these actions and commitments made in state and territory plans. There are three broad benchmarks, progress against deadlines, alignment with national strategy, and level of detail, including gaps.
Overall, ALC found that jurisdictions have made progress, but a lack of deadlines limited accountability.
“Real progress on implementing the National Freight and Supply Chain cannot be achieved without commitment to timelines for the completion of initiatives. To achieve improvements in productivity, progress towards finishing a project must form a key performance indicator of NFSCS progress,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.
Rail-focused projects pursued by states under the NFSCS include collaboration to improve the Hunter Valley and Sydney metropolitan freight network, investigation of strategic rail freight corridors in Queensland, and the Tasmanian Rail Revitalisation project. Besides infrastructure projects, there is a focus from all jurisdictions on improving freight location and performance data capturing, and the development of skills in logistics is part of the focus of some states.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack welcomed the scorecard.
“The scorecard is a powerful tool that will encourage all levels of government to deliver their commitments to implement the NFSCS.”