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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2011
34 Transport; Michael Byrne, CEO of Linfox; Lance Hockridge, Managing Director and CEO of QR National; Paul Little, Managing Director of the Toll Group; and Stephen Cleary, (Former) Group General Manager of Freight at Qantas Airways. The second session was entitled ‘Think National: Act Local – A National Freight Network’, and provided several provocative perspectives on the issues that have to be addressed in establishing a truly coherent and integrated national freight network. The session was chaired by John Begley, Chairman of the Victorian Freight and Logistics Council, and speakers included the honourable Pat Conlon MP, South Australian Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Energy; Michael Deegan, CEO of Infrastructure Australia; and Gary Liddle, CEO of VicRoads. The third and final session of the day was entitled ‘A National Approach to Ports and Shipping’ and was chaired by Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Export. A good cross-section of perspectives was canvassed, with speakers including Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and president of the International Transport Workers Federation; Stephen Bradford, CEO of the Port of Melbourne Corporation; Dom Figliomeni, CEO of the Port Kembla Port Corporation; and Greg Martin, Regional Director of Wallenius Willhelmsen Logistics. This lively session presented a timely insight into the range of issues impacting upon the achievement of a truly integrated national port strategy. The annual dinner that evening was held at the RACV Club and featured a presentation by Paul Little of Toll Group. It was interesting to hear him refer to media interest in response to his presentation earlier in the day. It was good to see that the media is taking at least some interest in this important national issue. The second day commenced with a presentation by Minister Albanese, who pointed out that Australia’s productivity growth has sunk below that of the United States, United Kingdom and Japan. Minister Albanese believes that if the country could raise productivity to average two per cent over the next 40 years, then living standards would be 15 per cent higher – but that we first need a first-class national infrastructure and transport system. This address was followed by Session 4 of the Forum, appropriately entitled ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure’ and was chaired by Mark Irwin, Director of Corporate Development at Asciano Ltd. Presenters included Paul Hamersley from WestNet Rail; David Marchant, (Former) Chief Executive of Australian Rail Track Corporation; and Gerard Walton, Managing Director of the ARRB Group. The session emphasised the need for visionary, world standard infrastructure initiatives to be progressed to help achieve the potential of this nation. Session 5 addressed ‘Industry Safety and Chain of Responsibility’, and was chaired by Ingilby Dickson, General Manager Supply Chain and Logistics for Bluescope Steel Ltd. Presenters included Geoff Thomas, General Manager of Logistics for Woolworths; Tony Hulett, Special Counsel at Lord Commercial Lawyers; and Tony Sheldon, Federal Secretary of the Transport Workers Union (TWU). The sixth session was headed ‘A National and Integrated Transport and Logistics Industry’ and was chaired by Andrew Ethell, General Manager of Group Corporate Affairs for Toll Group. Speakers included Bryan Nye, CEO of the Australasian Railway Association; Tania Whyte, President Commercial at Linfox Logistics; and Richard Jones, General Manager of Industry Management at GS1 Australia Ltd. The final session, ‘People and Sustainability in the Freight T&L industry’, was chaired by Michael Kilgariff, with speakers including Geoff Gwilym, CEO of the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council; Hermione Parsons, Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Victoria University; and Daryll Hull, Managing Director of the Transport and Logistics Centre. The session provided considerable food for thought, including some very interesting perspectives on training, education and career paths in the industry. 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.