Queensland Government releases ‘Moving Freight’ strategy

'Moving Freight', released by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, unveiled the strategy the Queensland Government intends to follow in order to handle the increase in the state's freight task from 881 million tonnes in 2009-10 to 1550 million tonnes in 2020-21. A number of the solutions have been drawn from the 'Strengthening Queensland's Supply Chains' report from the Queensland Transport and Logistics Council, released last month.

38 actions supporting the growth of freight in the resources, agriculture, construction and tourism sectors are listed in the draft plan . These include the preservation of train paths on regional rail for non-coal freight, improving freight route resilience in the face of floods, improved collection and analysis of freight data and improving the system to issue heavy vehicle permits.

The main thrust of the draft strategy is all about moving freight onto rail and includes a plan to develop the North Coast Line, the rail system in South and West Queensland and the Mount Isa to Council rail corridor. The plan also talks about increasing the priority for rail freight and increasing its utility for both agricultural and general freight.

However, although rail appears to be the main priority, the strategy also acknowledges the need for improved heavy vehicle access to help Queensland industry. This includes the promotion of strategic freight routes and the use of higher productivity vehicles on those routes. The strategy also acknowledges the need to provide a usable oversize and over mass road network for those supplying the resources industry.

The report also talks about the need for improved infrastructure investment throughout Queensland. It identifies the possibility of encouraging and enabling investment by industry in the freight network. There is also a real need to promote investment in multi modal solutions for the state. Regional Queensland needs urgent upgrades on the Flinders, Barkly, Peak Downs and Capricorn Highways and the strategy also promises to work to improve heavy vehicle access throughout the road system.

Transport and Main Roads are seeking feedback about the strategy which can be downloaded from their website. Any submissions about the draft strategy need to be in before August 12, 2013.

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