Freight reference panel

A new Freight Industry Reference Panel has been formed to oversee the implementation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

The Federal Government announced the panel’s membership on 24 June 2020. The panel is comprised of:

  • Mr John Fullerton, Chair
  • Ms Nicole Lockwood
  • Ms Sophie Finemore
  • Mr Peter Garske
  • Mr Brett Charlton

The National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, developed by all Australian governments with extensive input from industry, lays out a 20-year plan showing how government and industry will work together to lift the nation’s freight networks’ performance.

The new panel’s role will be to provide industry a clear line of sight on implementation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy and annually report to Transport and Infrastructure Ministers its independent view on progress made.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the recent combination of natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important our supply chains are to maintaining our way of life for Australians.

“Considering the importance of the panel in ratcheting up ambition on the strategy, I am pleased the panel has attracted individuals highly respected by government, industry and the community alike,” he said.

Panel Chair, John Fullerton, has over 35 years’ experience in the transport industry across Australia. From 2011 to 2020, he was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Rail Track Corporation; the owner and operator of Australia’s largest rail freight network.

“Mr Fullerton is a leading figure in Australia’s infrastructure and transport industry and consistently promotes the value of rail and freight supply chains to the national economy,” Mr McCormack said.

Nicole Lockwood is the chair of the Westport Taskforce Steering Committee and serves on the board of Infrastructure WA.

“Ms Lockwood’s background in infrastructure, economic development and community engagement provides her with a unique insight into the complexity of infrastructure, planning and regional development,” he said.

“As a member of the Expert Panel which led the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities in 2017 and 2018, Ms Lockwood is uniquely placed to bring both continuity and fresh perspectives in overseeing the strategy.

“Ms Finemore’s practical experience in navigating supply chain issues in her role with the Toll Group and her recent involvement in transport market reform will make her a valued member of the panel.”

Peter Garske will bring his extensive experience in the heavy vehicle industry to the panel having served as a board member of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, among many other industry committees and policy groups.

Federal Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz, said Mr Garke “recognises the importance of the trucking industry and the cross-border freight task to the economic wellbeing of Australia”.

Brett Charlton has been involved in international logistics for over quarter of a century. He has vast experience in advocacy on freight and logistics policy matters both at home and abroad and is the current Chairman of the Tasmanian Logistics Committee.

“As an island nation, maritime freight will always be front and centre in our trade environment. Mr Charlton’s experience with ports, shipping lines, logistics consulting and freight forwarding will be an invaluable contribution to the Panel,” Mr Buchholz said.

“The panel will act as a lever to elicit more actions from all levels of government and industry to ensure best practice and better outcomes for all.

“I welcome the panel members and wish them the best as they embark on their important task of working closely with industry on the implementation of the Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.”

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