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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2012
2 MINISTER'S FOREWORD Below are extracts from a speech delivered by Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, to the Australian Logistics Council Forum 2012. As the late, much-decorated American General Robert H Barrow once said: 'Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.' These are wise words that not only apply to military campaigns, but also modern economic operations. We are witnessing structural shifts in our economy that will see us increasingly reliant on our ports, our freight industry and our connecting infrastructure. That's why we greatly value the work of ALC. You bring together a huge variety of participants -- the program for the next two days is a testament to your logistical prowess. The federal government recognises this, and urges you to keep engaging with us. This engagement is particularly important when you consider how your industry is evolving, in part due to the changing nature of the global economy. Australia Post demonstrates this -- from bearers of increasingly rare 'snail mail', they have become integral to the growth of e-commerce. Last financial year Australia Post enjoyed an 11 per cent increase in parcels, directly linked to the enormous growth of online shopping. This evolving logistics environment requires an evolving policy response. Since 2007 we have been implementing a substantial reform agenda to transform our transport infrastructure. Key to this has been logistics. You link our farms and our factories, our mines and ports and our cities. You connect our businesses to markets around the nation and the world, including the booming Asian region. We must be as connected as possible to emerging markets. Your success allows us to take advantage of these economic and trade opportunities. Your own research highlights the great diversity of operators in your sector -- 165,000 companies, employing more than one million people. Yours is an industry that is growing. Growth in freight will climb from 500 billion tonne kilometres in 2010 to an expected 1000 billion tonne kilometres in 2030. Moving even further into the future -- 2050 -- it is estimated to reach 1400 billion tonne kilometres. That's why the theme of this conference is so important -- 'Positioning Australia in the Global Supply Chain'. If we want to be competitive abroad we need to be efficient at home. We need to get it right. For us to succeed in the global supply chain, our domestic supply chain must be integrated, productive and efficient. Logistics solutions are like a Swiss clock; all parts must work perfectly and in unison. It's a great metaphor for the work of the Australian Logistics Council -- a national, cross-modal body, bringing together different parties to focus on improving the entire system. Government policy is the same -- each of our reforms must link in with our investments to produce better outcomes. All of this requires a willingness for governments and industry to work together. You have a strong voice in the Australian Logistics Council. It's a voice I look forward to hearing more from as we work together to place Australia in a position of envy in the global marketplace.