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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2011
32 There was a distinct awareness that we cannot keep relying on our ‘lucky country’ legacy. Yes, we survived the GFC better than many, and may still be travelling better than most, but the world is hardly standing still. While the need for world-class physical infrastructure was certainly high on the agenda, so too was the issue of more intelligent ways of working together as a coherent national entity. Significant attention was focused on the ongoing program for single national regulatory frameworks, as well as the challenges of management innovation and other ‘people systems’ initiatives such as safety, education and career opportunities across the sector. In his initial message of support for the Forum, Anthony Albanese, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, emphasised the importance of the industry, referring to it as ‘the lifeblood of our nation’s economy, generating nearly a seventh of the nation’s income and employing more than one million Australians across 164,000 companies.’ He also noted that the federal government is making an unprecedented investment in the road, rail and port infrastructure used by transport operators and that delivering safe, reliable and productive transport systems is not only about dollars, but also about INTRODUCTION The importance of a coherent and truly national ‘systems perspective’ was one of the principal underlying themes of the Australian Logistics Council Forum of 2011. In a highly competitive and interconnected world that doesn’t seem to be becoming any more predictable, the need for a truly integrated national approach with world-class infrastructure, and a national regulatory environment to match, was an oft-repeated call. Reported by Dan Stojanovich