by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2011
46 46 Opening Session DAY 2 The Hon Anthony Albanese MP Minister for Infrastructure and Transport The Minister began by reminding attendees that in the 1990s Australia was a world-leader in productivity growth, but that we’ve slipped down the global rankings. Our average productivity growth is now below that of the United States, United Kingdom and Japan, having plunged from two per cent in the 1990s to just 1.4 per cent today – the lowest average in half a century. Albanese asserted that if we could turn this around and raise pro- ductivity to average two per cent over the next 40 years, then living standards would be 15 per cent higher. Central to achieving this, of course, is a first-class infrastructure and transport system. From the time the federal government was elected in 2007, one of its priorities has been to address Australia’s 20th place ranking out of 25 OECD nations in investing in public infrastructure as a proportion of national income. To address this, government initiatives have included: Forming a new Department of • Infrastructure; Appointing the nation’s first • Infrastructure Minister; Creating Infrastructure Australia; • Having Infrastructure Australia • audit infrastructure needs and publish the first list of nationally significant projects; Setting up the Building • Australia Fund to support infrastructure investment; Issuing our first major public • private partnerships policy, to make it easier and cheaper for the private sector to partner with governments; Developing a strategy to • revitalise Australian shipping; Developing national ports and • freight strategies; and Reaching agreement through • COAG for the implementation of National Regulators for maritime, rail and heavy vehicles. According to the Minister, the nation’s immediate infrastructure needs are being attended to with the $37 billion Nation Building Program to improve roads, rail and ports – the largest ever infrastructure investment program in the nation, which includes 158 major projects. He added that the roads budget has been doubled and that the rail budget has increased more than tenfold. One third of the interstate rail freight network has been rebuilt, and the heavy vehicle productivity and safety package has been delivered. Over the next three years, the government’s comprehensive plan for Australia’s transport landside and portside infrastructure has four principal elements: The National Ports Strategy; • The National Freight Network • Strategy; The National Transport Reforms • that will establish national regulators for heavy vehicles, rail and maritime safety; and The Shipping reforms. • Draft National Freight Strategy ‘Today I am releasing for public feedback the draft National Freight Strategy; a blueprint for a truly national, integrated and multi-modal system capable of moving goods from point A to point B quickly, reliably and efficiently,’ Minister Albanese announced. This strategy proposes one national, integrated system, which will identify the existing and yet-to-be-built roads, rail lines, intermodals, ports and airports that will link together to form a workable, truly national freight network. As part of this process, consideration is to be given to opening up more roads to bigger vehicles, establishing dedicated freight routes, and separating passenger trains from freight trains. Effective local planning is needed to protect the network’s land corridors from urban encroachment and make sure they are not lost to other activities.