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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2011
47 FUTURE FREIGHT NETWORKS 2011 National, rather than state-by -state regulation is needed. Accordingly, national regulators for maritime safety, rail safety and heavy vehicles will be in place by the beginning of 2013. Albanese also reminded attendees that the National Broadband Network would be a platform for ‘smart infrastructure’ that will transform the way we work, the way we deliver transport services, and the way we use our infrastructure networks. The National Freight Strategy builds on the government’s National Ports Strategy, and together they are part of the government’s productivity agenda, which also includes legislative and regulatory reforms that reduce the burden of red tape and deliver a seamless national economy. NATIONALLy SIGNIFICANT INFRASTRUCTURE Session 4 Paul Hamersley Business Development Manager, WestNet Rail Hamersley provided a succinct overview of a private rail operator (owned by Brookfield Infrastructure) in the thriving environment of WA. WestNet runs railways – it is not a vertically integrated supply chain operator. Involved in both the grain and resources industries, the company is faced with diverse challenges, and finds that collaboration with government and clients is the best way to deliver optimal solutions. This is a capital intensive business, so new infrastructure is being built in stages as demanded by clients – this makes it less capital hungry and also less expensive for clients. Hamersley emphasised three key points which summarised the way WestNet operates: Government and industry must 1. continue to work collaboratively to plan and commit the required rail freight infrastructure investment across the network in order to unlock the potential of the resource sector, as well as plan the growth of the population of WA. Both the state and national 2. economies will reap the rewards of public and private freight infrastructure investment that supports that population and productivity growth. There is a need for government 3. to formalise its role in supporting freight infrastructure to achieve public policy goals. ‘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,’ The Hon Anthony Albanese MP