ALC says Queensland moving in the right freight direction

Queensland' Moving Freight Strategy demonstrates the right direction, with its particular focus on shifting more freight onto rail, according to the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).

“A predicted doubling of Queensland’s freight task by 2026 underscores why the State Government needs to take action now to prepare for significant freight growth,” said Michael Kilgariff, ALC Managing Director.

“The Queensland Government’s Moving Freight Strategy recognises a more efficient and productive freight logistics industry is an important part of a strong economy, and we note its commitment to implement some initial steps to improve supply chain efficiency.

“The Moving Freight Strategy, taken together with the Queensland Port Strategy, set the benchmark that all other jurisdictions need to aspire to in terms of delivering on the objectives of the national port and freight strategies.

“The challenge before all governments is to follow through on the high level recommendations contained in their strategies and deliver the infrastructure and regulatory reforms necessary to improve freight efficiency.”

Kilgariff said he was heartened by the Government’s commitment to expand the use of rail freight. He said the ALC submission on the draft Moving Freight Strategy pointed to the economic and social benefits of getting more freight onto rail, particularly from port to intermodal terminals to improve freight efficiency, improve urban amenity, to reduce road congestion and to decrease queuing times at ports.

“This commitment, however, needs to be backed with the provision of funds for dedicated rail freight infrastructure, with rail lines servicing the Port of Brisbane as the first priority,” said Kilgariff. “ALC also notes the Government’s ongoing support for inland rail, including its commitment to work with industry in the planning of unsolicited privately funded transport corridors.

“The Port of Brisbane has invested considerable funds investigating and championed the development of the dedicated freight rail line as the first phase of Inland Rail since its 2010 privatisation. The port is doing its part and industry looks forward to working with state and federal governments to build on these efforts over the next 12 months.

“Corridor preservation is also a critical issue for the freight logistics industry, because we cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past where inappropriate development has encroached on key freight routes. ALC would have liked to have seen the Queensland Government develop the mechanisms necessary to purchase land for these purposes, a point ALC will continue to make to all governments.”

Kilgariff also welcomed the Government’s commitment to develop improved heavy vehicle access systems for high productivity vehicles (HPVs). According to the ALC, HPVs are safer, more efficient and have a higher productivity pay-off than traditional heavy vehicles.

“We look forward to working with the Department of Transport and Main Roads on its proposal for industry to undertake their own assessment of routes and any associated works to help inform decisions relating to access for high productivity vehicles,” said Kilgariff.

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