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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2016
58 ALC SUBMISSIONS SUBMISSIONS ALC made 19 major submissions to state and federal parliamentary and government inquiries and industry inquiries in 2015. The most important of these was to the Infrastructure Australia Audit in September, in which ALC made a number of recommendations aimed at improving investment decisions and giving consumers more choice, particularly by developing a national transport market. ALC’s submission on Infrastructure Australia’s Australian Infrastructure Audit will form a major part of ALC’s advocacy agenda over the next 12 months, and will also be the basis of ALC’s dialogue with the major political parties in the lead-up to the next federal election. Key recommendations from ALC’s submission were: • auditing the National Freight Strategy to identify areas for action, including road reform; implementation of the National Ports Strategy; and establishing a national body to progress freight reforms • encouraging the development of Inland Rail • implementing practical measures to accelerate necessary road reforms • prioritising the efficient use of High Productivity Vehicles travelling to and from Australia’s major ports • achieving efficient rail links from intermodal terminals to ports, and a review of Australia’s port needs over the next 30 years (which is necessary following the privatisation of a number of Australian Ports, including the Port of Melbourne, for which ALC has proposed a number of amendments to the Port’s lease bill) • establishing a defined and measurable definition of the ‘efficient use’ of existing and future infrastructure • identifying where investments in technology improvements will deliver the greatest economic return • encouraging and prioritising private sector investment in logistics infrastructure ALC also made a major submission to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development on a discussion paper outlining various options relating to its freight rail policy objectives. ALC’s submission recommended: • establishing an independent body called Freight Australia • instituting a review of the Australian rail freight industry • expediting the work that is necessary to harmonise Australian law regulating the movement of freight • accelerating progress of the Inland Rail project. Other key submissions were on the Port of Melbourne and on safety. ALC submitted that the ACCC should be able to review arrangements for the leasing of port assets to ensure competition and consumer protection. ALC argued that parties in disputes over pricing should have the right to appeal to the Essential Services Commission and not rely on a discretionary decision of the government to be allowed to appeal. Port of Melbourne Continued on page 60