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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2016
124 FORUM 2016 Brian Haratsis, Executive Chairman, MacroPlan Dimasi MacroPlan Dimasi’s Executive Chairman, Brian Haratsis, delivered a stark warning that governments need to improve their long-term infrastructure planning to ensure that a rising population does not restrict Australia’s future prosperity. MacroPlan Dimasi provides economic analysis, strategic and statutory planning, and research services to all property sectors. Haratsis described how a number of Australia’s major cities are undergoing significant transformations, with major investments in new transport infrastructure, urban developments and commercial facilities. It is imperative that these developments are undertaken in a strategic and planned way, so that they support (and don’t hinder) supply chain efficiency, and that we get the balance right between strategic planning and logistics infrastructure. Haratsis said there is a low level of understanding about how to deal with densely populated cities and strong online economies. The transformation of cities and increased densities at the centre is not well integrated with investment in new transport infrastructure. A particular concern is that Australia’s population, freight and planning strategies do not match. The inevitable result, Haratsis said, will be ‘carmageddon’ and increasing urban congestion, which Infrastructure Australia (IA) has estimated will cost $53 billion by 2030 if nothing is done to address it. He said that states could do more to integrate their planning to achieve a more nationally consistent approach, and that IA should spearhead this. To get important reforms through the political process in the areas of planning, investment and road pricing, governments and industry need to build community support. Haratsis said the need for reform is borne out by the figures. The population is projected to increase by 50 per cent in the next 15 years. It is estimated that the freight task will double – but it may treble. Greater consideration needs to be given to new technologies, such as driverless trucks and drones, and the roles that they can play in Australia’s future economy. Haratsis also argued that Inland Rail has to be built, given the freight task of the future, and to contain the impact of truck movements. Greater clarity is also needed on the location of Victoria’s next container port, following the abandonment of the Port of Hastings. Brian Haratsis