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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2016
8 MANAGING DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE The importance of a vigilant national advocacy body for Australia’s logistics industry was illustrated yet again more forcefully in 2015. While there has been some progress on a number of fronts, governments at all levels must refocus their efforts in ensuring that their policy and investment decisions support, rather than hinder, industry’s efforts to improve supply chain efficiency. A change in federal leadership has heralded a change in the Commonwealth’s approach to cities, as well as its attitude to public transport. While the government’s commitment to cities is welcomed by ALC, it is critical that all governments give equal consideration to freight as to public transport. We are therefore lobbying governments to ensure that any new federal approach to moving people should not be at the expense of supporting supply chain projects to move freight. We also continue to encourage the federal government to progress important reforms to heavy vehicle road funding; state governments to take the issue of corridor preservation seriously; and local governments to take a pragmatic approach to access and curfews. ALC’s watch has to be broad. For example, any attempt to extend the GST on imports worth less than $1000 as proposed in 2015 may be a worthy aim, but it should not inflict costs on the logistics industry. ALC has therefore lobbied for the tax to be collected by the overseas seller, not the Australian carrier. On issues like these, ALC has hammered away in the background throughout 2015, speaking up for consumers and businesses, with some success. A national advocacy body can pursue both big and small policies in a way that individual companies and firms cannot. A small example would be ALC pushing for sensible and pragmatic changes to Chain of Responsibility legislation. A big example would be ALC pushing the case that the revenue from asset sales is recycled into new infrastructure and not frittered away on recurrent expenditure. As a national advocacy body, ALC has hitherto focused strongly on national priorities and aims; but we live in a federation, and these are not likely to change. So, in 2015, ALC made a significant policy adjustment. From now on, ALC will conduct state-by-state State of Logistics events that will deal with the logistics, supply chain and infrastructure concerns of individual states and territories. In 2015, ALC made a start with New South Wales and Victorian Summits. Others will follow. ALC believes that this process will have huge benefits. On one hand, it will enable individual states and territories to put their logistics and infrastructure priorities into a national forum, while on the other hand, it will expose the individual state or territory to national priorities. 2015 has alerted ALC to the need to pay continuous attention to the political sphere to ensure a nationally and economically sound focus; the need for the industry to reform itself, particularly in the area of inclusion and diversity as outlined in the chairman’s message; and the need to pay constant attention to safety in our industry. Michael Kilgariff Managing Director Australian Logistics Council Message from ALC Managing Director Michael Kilgariff