Infrastructure Australia Reforms Could Be "game changers" for Australian Transport
Proposed transport policy reforms outlined in Infrastructure Australia’s 15-Year Infrastructure Plan could be “game-changers” for the efficiency of the nation’s freight transport sector, according to Australia’s largest rail-based transport company Aurizon.
Priorities in the plan include the protection of key freight corridors and road freight reform to drive better supply chain efficiency.
Aurizon has long advocated for the user-pay road infrastructure charges for heavy vehicles that would increase funding streams for the nation’s critical freight infrastructure corridors, and underpin productivity improvements and more competitive transport freight markets.
“Many of these reforms are long overdue and have potential to be game changers in the Australian transport sector,” Aurizon Managing Director & CEO Lance Hockridge said.
“We can unlock significant productivity upside and deliver benefits to consumers and Australian producers through more competitive freight pricing, lower transit times and improved customer service.
“Research released by the Australian Logistics Council shows that just a 1% percent improvement in our supply chains would boost national GDP by $2 billion.
“The task now is for governments, policy makers and the transport industry to work collaboratively on a sensible and timely implementation plan for key reforms. This is especially important when the Australia economy is facing multiple challenges.”
Key aspects of the report that Aurizon supports include:
IA’s recommendation for a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy to drive a long term plan for the various components of our national and international supply chains.
Australia should commit to full implementation of heavy vehicle road user charging that reflects the true costs imposed on the road network within five years.
Infrastructure is a catalyst for regional population growth
“Freight rail will need to play a growing role in the movement of goods between ports and inland freight terminals, and in the movement of containerised and general freight over longer distances.”
“The absence of effective heavy vehicle user charging distorts the efficient movement of freight across the economy and undermines the economics of freight rail for some cargo profiles, meaning modal choices and pricing outcomes for freight are not always optimal."
Government should support a “transition to less emissions-intensive modes for freight modes where feasible; shifting freight from trucks to trains – especially for longer trips – reduces emissions and improves the efficiency of freight networks”