Where are the federal plans for freight?

ALC Freight federal policy national supply chain strategy

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has argued that neither the Federal Government nor Opposition have announced enough policy on Australia’s supply chain in the lead-up to the May 18 election.

ALC CEO, Kirk Coningham, said that while supply chain performance and safety affects every Australian, every day, “genuine” policy proposals on freight are “disturbingly absent” a week out from the election.

“Two weeks ago, ALC released Freight: Delivering Opportunity For Australia which sets out 39 priority actions for the incoming Federal Government that address challenges and opportunities relevant to all modes of freight transport,” Mr Coningham said.

“While both major parties have made some campaign announcements that tangentially relate to freight movement, there has been little in the way of freight-specific commitments that will secure the policy and regulatory reforms needed to allow Australia to meet its growing freight task.”

With the freight industry securing a bipartisan commitment to finalise the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, Mr Conginham argued the election campaign is an ideal opportunity for both sides to set out clear plans to address the issues ALC members have identified as industry priorities.

Mr Coningham said these priorities include:

  • A consistent national approach to planning and investing in freight infrastructure
  • Increasing road and rail productivity through regulatory reform
  • Enhancing freight infrastructure in Northern Australia to boost exports
  • Using data and new technology (including on-board telematics) to drive greater efficiency and safety across the end-to-end supply chain

“Industry is also eager to hear from all parties about their plans to facilitate greater use of high performance vehicles (HPVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) in the freight sector,” he said.

While Mr Coningham said Labor’s EV manufacturing and innovation strategy is a positive step, he said there is scope to “go significantly further in supporting freight operators transitioning to EVs”.

This would include establishing a Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund and providing tax concessions to drive greater uptake of electric delivery vehicles.

“If we are going to meet the challenges that arise from a growing population and remain internationally competitive, it is essential that our next Federal Government is ready to take decisive action,” Mr Coningham said.

“The freight logistics industry – and the communities that rely on our services – need to hear more from both sides in the campaign’s final week about their specific plans to improve the efficiency and safety of our supply chains, create more liveable communities and enhance Australia’s international competitiveness.”

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