ALC welcomes Queensland freight strategy

Michael Kilgariff, Australian Logistics Council Managing Director, has welcomed the release of the 'Moving Freight' draft strategy by the Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland. The report was announced earlier this week and sets out the plans of the Queensland Government to handle the near doubling of the freight task in the coming years.

“ALC welcomes the release of the draft Moving Freight Strategy and commends Minister Emerson on the development of a blueprint to meet the state's growing freight needs,” said Kilgariff in a statement. “Queensland's freight volumes are anticipated to grow by more than 70 percent by 2021, underscoring the need for a visionary strategy aimed at creating a long-term efficient freight system that supports the states continued economic development.

“As with all blueprints however, the strategy is only as good as the tangible outcomes it delivers and so ALC will ultimately judge the Queensland government's commitment to improving the efficiency on its ability to deliver on the final set of actions and to the projected timeframes. In saying that, ALC welcomes some key aspects of the strategy, including its support for an inland freight line, improved freight data collection and an acknowledgement of the importance of land preservation for key freight corridors.”

The ALC contends an inland freight line will boost productivity and enhance efficiency on the freight corridor and is expected to come in at a much lower price than the highly touted High Speed Rail. The council is also concerned with corridor preservation as a critical issue for the freight and logistics industry. It does not want to see a repeat of past mistakes when key freight routes were crowded out by urban development.

“We are disappointed that there does not appear to be a commitment to develop the mechanisms necessary to purchase land for the purposes of corridor preservation, a point which ALC will make in its submission on the draft strategy,” said Kilgariff. “On this issue of critical freight routes, ALC trusts the strategy embodies the Queensland Government's commitment to follow through on the recommendations of the National Land Freight Strategy, in particular, to map major freight routes by May 2014.

“Port of Brisbane handles over 90 percent of Queensland container traffic but has a container rail market share of only around 5 percent. This is largely due to a lack of adequate rail capacity servicing the port, and without appropriate dedicated rail capacity servicing the port, the government's desired modal shift simply will not occur.

“ALC looks forward to the Queensland government giving greater consideration to the need to make appropriate investments in dedicated rail infrastructure servicing the Port of Brisbane.”

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