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The Australian Logistics Council has pushed for a renewed wave of national productivity that can help Australia’s supply chain industry deliver economic and social benefits to the community.
According to ALC Managing Director Michael Kilgariff, the Coalition must improve the efficiency and safety of the the nation’s supply chains by resourcing the development of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
“The development of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, which would incorporate the various, interlinked components of our national and international supply chains, was one of the high-level recommendations contained in Infrastructure Australia’s 15-Year Plan released earlier this year.
“The development of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy should be viewed as the next step of the economic reform agenda and in the same context as the white papers that have transformed many of Australia’s economically critical industries.
“The need for such a long-term, visionary approach to national supply chains is underscored by an ALC Report which found the industry represented 8.6% of the national economy and that a 1% increase in supply chain efficiency can deliver a $2 billion benefit to Australia’s economy.
“The efficiency of Australia’s supply chains is critical to Australia’s future economic prospects, whether it be getting our exports to our ports, consumer goods to our supermarkets or delivering products to our doors.
“The volume of freight going through our ports and airports will grow inexorably over the next 30 years, with Infrastructure Australia predicting a 165% increase in containerised trade from 2011 to 2031.
“It is therefore critical that we have a long-term plan to deal with this growth and to maximise the logistics sector’s benefits to the Australian economy,” he said.
“ALC encourages the Government to respond to the Infrastructure Australia 15-Year Plan within its first 30 days of Government, and to provide the necessary resources to develop the proposed National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy,” he said.
“We would like to see the proposed Strategy developed like a Productivity Commission White Paper and for industry to be closely involved in its development.
“The Strategy would map nationally significant supply chains and their access to supporting infrastructure, and recommend a series of reforms and investments to enable the more efficient movement of freight.
“Such an approach would cover issues such as improved corridor protection, rail freight, improving heavy vehicle safety through a focus on technology and progressing reforms to heavy vehicle pricing and investment.
“We cannot expect to achieve the economic and social dividend unless we have a comprehensive national plan that sets out a long-term framework for future investments and reforms,” he said.