The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed the release of Infrastructure Australia’s (IA) 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan citing it as an important tool in planning for the growth in Australia’s population and freight task.
The 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan, released today, provides a reform pathway in response to the 180 infrastructure challenges and opportunities identified in Infrastructure Australia’s 2019 Audit.
ALC CEO Brad Williams said the plan was an important piece of the infrastructure planning puzzle and with Australia’s national freight task forecast to increase by 25 per cent to 962 billion tonne-km by 2040 , time was of the essence when it came to investment and action.
“We welcome this comprehensive plan for infrastructure reform and the important focus on productivity, innovation and long-term sustainability, Mr Williams said.
“However, it’s critical we don’t get overwhelmed by the size of the task and it’s important to link actions and investment outlined in the IA 2021 Plan to other existing freight and infrastructure strategies including the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy signed off by the Commonwealth and State / Territory Governments in 2019,” he said.
The transport chapter in the IA 2021 Plan outlines important themes that align with ALC thinking including:
- Technology and data will help underpin future safety and productivity improvements;
- There is a need for a national distance-based road user charging system that accounts for the external costs of different types of vehicles; and
- Governments, have a role to play in encouraging industry’s emissions reduction efforts by directly supporting technological innovation in the heavy vehicle sector (such as hydrogen fuel cells, hybrids and EVs).
ALC recognises, like IA, that Australia’s fast-growing cities need to provide a high standard of living to remain globally competitive and that’s why the staged development of their major transport corridors and networks needs to keep pace with community needs and expectations of last mile delivery.
“The need for continuous movement of freight has long been advocated for by ALC, as has the need to preserve freight corridors and ensure the freight and the supply chain sector is adequately considered and consistently planned for,” Mr Williams said.