The Queensland Government has released its Freight Strategy that aims to provide a framework to support statewide trucking, shipping, rail and air cargo over the next decade.
The strategy, Advancing Freight in Queensland, proposes five pillars to address the challenges of freight in the state:
- Build Effective Partnerships
- Unlock Economic Opportunity
- Smarter Connectivity and Access
- A Resilient Freight System
- Safer Freight Movements
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the strategy sought to cater to the state’s growing population increasing the demand for freight.
“The Queensland Freight Strategy is the key starting point for government, industry and the entire state to make sure we continue to have an integrated and resilient freight system that benefits all Queenslanders,” Mr Bailey said.
“Over the next ten years, the volume of freight moving across Queensland will grow more than 20 per cent, which it is why it’s critical we have a guiding document in place to drive our freight industry in the right direction.”
Mr Bailey said the Queensland Government worked extensively with key stakeholders to develop a clear vision for state’s freight system that provides certainty and a path forward for one of the most diverse and geographically challenging industries in the country.
“The freight sector is a major employer in the state and jobs are the number one priority of the Palaszczuk Government. More than 180,000 jobs have been created since we were elected in 2015, including 3,500 full time jobs in January this year.”
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, said the competitiveness of Queensland’s export economy relied on safe and efficient freight systems.
“Queensland’s freight systems are the arteries of our economy and the Queensland Freight Strategy maps out how to keep those systems in tip-top shape,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“QRC congratulates Minister Bailey and his Department on their high-quality consultation process, with stakeholders, communities and unions all at the table.
“From shipping bauxite around Cape York, to the Mount Isa line across the North West into Townsville and securing freight access to the Port of Brisbane – the success of Queensland’s resource exports relies on freight.”
Inland Rail proud to partner with the strategy
The Inland Rail has supported the Freight Strategy, saying it is a key document for an integrated and resilient freight industry in Queensland.
Inland Rail Chief Executive Officer, Richard Wankmuller, said he was pleased that the Queensland Government was reiterating its commitment to building a freight system that is integrated, resilient and safe.
“Inland Rail supports these goals and will help ensure Queensland continues to keep pace with a growing freight task and ensure that supermarket shelves are stacked, online shopping is delivered on time and bulk agricultural commodities are moved more efficiently to market,” Mr Wankmuller said.
“Queensland will be the largest beneficiary of Inland Rail with around 7000 jobs during construction and more than $6 billion spent right here.
“Much of this money will flow into Queensland businesses and then flow through wages into local sports clubs, to schools, to coffee shops which will mean a massive boost for the Queensland economy.”
ALC praises focus on technology and resilience
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) also welcomed the strategy, saying it emphasised the importance of new technologies and building resilience in the Queensland supply chain.
ALC Chief Executive Officer, Kirk Coningham, said he was pleased to see the Queensland Government recognise the impact that new technologies can have in addressing latent capacity challenges and improving the reliability of the freight network.
“We know Queensland is a State that is heavily impacted by extreme weather events. Just last month we saw the devastation of the flooding in Townsville.
“ALC supports the Queensland Government’s efforts to mitigate the effect these weather events have on ensuring groceries, medicines and other essential items are delivered to impacted communities.
“The freight industry is filled with many organisations that are more than willing to help our fellow Australians when times are tough. Anything the Queensland Government can do to help these organisations service those communities is appreciated.”
However, Mr Coningham said there was more work to be done.
“Advancing Freight in Queensland does not reference the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy,” he said.
“The freight task does not end at the Queensland border. To have a truly national, efficient and safe supply chain, the Queensland Government must work with the Commonwealth Government to deliver the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.”
Nor does the strategy provide concrete funding announcements or a pipeline of infrastructure works, and fails to mention the rail connection between Acacia Ridge and the Port of Brisbane, Mr Coningham said.
“ALC looks forward to reviewing the biennial Queensland Freight Action Plans upon their release.”
View the Queensland Freight Strategy here.