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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2017
4 CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE 2016 proved to be a seminal year for Australia’s logistics industry, and one that has opened up enormous opportunities to build a more efficient and safer supply chain. Our ability to capitalise on these opportunities, however, ultimately relies on the capacity of ALC to continue to provide focused and effective advocacy for all elements of the supply chain. It is to this end that all of the Board’s efforts are now directed. Of course, 2016 was a federal election year, and ALC was determined to use that opportunity to vigorously pursue the issues that matter most to our industry. Securing the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) has been a longstanding objective for ALC, and the issue came to a head during the final sittings of the Federal Parliament before the double dissolution election was called. ALC was very pleased to see the RSRT abolished, with its funding and functions placed back where they should always have been – with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). ALC’s 2016 election priorities document, Getting the Supply Chain Right, was also issued around this time, and provided a clear road map for securing a safer and more efficient supply chain. In producing this comprehensive document, it was ALC’s intention that it would be a blueprint used by whichever party won government to inform its policymaking over the next term of Parliament. This will permit Australia to benefit from the clear economic gains that result from a more efficient supply chain. The core recommendation was the urgent need to develop a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy consistent with the recommendation made by Infrastructure Australia in its 15-year Australian Infrastructure Plan. Australia’s rapidly growing population presents a myriad of challenges for the freight and logistics sector. Developing a comprehensive National Strategy is our best chance of making certain that we plan responsibly and invest wisely in infrastructure, so that we can meet the needs of a changing landscape. Accordingly, it was especially gratifying to hear the re-elected Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, use his Annual Infrastructure Statement in November last year to confirm that the government will be developing a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. At last, this gives our industry the opportunity to powerfully demonstrate the importance of our activities to the nation’s overall economic capacity, and argue for much-needed infrastructure investment and planning reforms that will address the congestion problems that are already acting as a handbrake on economic growth. At the risk of sounding clichéd, this really is an enormously exciting time to be involved in freight and logistics. With government prepared to act, an industry committed to working cooperatively and new technologies offering solutions previously unimagined, we have a once-in-a -generation opportunity to set this sector up for its next phase of growth. Moreover, the right investment decisions now will ensure that we have the transport infrastructure that will allow Australia to remain internationally competitive. ALC is committed to working cooperatively and effectively with our industry to make certain that we achieve both of these critical objectives. Ultimately, our success will be the nation’s success. Ian Murray AM Chairman Australian Logistics Council Message from ALC Chairman Ian Murray AM