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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2012
4 In the past year, all three levels of government have either passed or proposed major initiatives affecting the freight transport and logistics supply chain. The changes come at a critical time. As Australia faces major economic challenges, it is vital that our industry is as efficient and effective as possible. The logistics industry is highly regulated at the national, state and local levels so it is imperative that unnecessary imposts and duplication of regulation are avoided. Throughout 2011/12 ALC argued vigorously in policy submissions and in the public domain for regulatory inefficiencies to be addressed. It is not an easy mission but we are determined, because we believe growth in Australia’s prosperity is dependent, to a significant degree, on the effectiveness of our industry. We have also continued to argue against adopting a ‘silo’ approach of dealing with individual modes of transport, and rather to focus on the management and efficiencies across the whole supply chain. Over the course of the next 12 months, ALC will deal with significant new legislation that will impact on our industry. This includes the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, new rules applying to coastal shipping, national regulators for heavy vehicles, marine safety and rail safety, and the imposition of a carbon tax from the middle of 2012. As an organisation, ALC can still influence and finetune the implementation of all of these government initiatives. The industry should also indicate its willingness to take up advisory roles to ensure that industry productivity is enhanced through these changes. The need for increased productivity in the transport industry is paramount, with figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing productivity growth for the transport sector increased by only 0.6 per cent per year in the five years to June 2011. Some of the slowdown is due to accumulated under-investment in infrastructure, which causes delays along the supply chain, but it is clear that an inconsistent regulatory framework stifles efficiency. And it is unnecessary. ALC provides one of the best ways for our industry to present a united voice to government to ensure that governments at all levels understand the depth and importance of the industry. Providing a united voice to government will take on added importance over 2012, as industry faces a raft of new issues and frontiers. For example: • an increasing freight task • increasing congestion around our major ports • debate around pricing and payment of logistics infrastructure • a greater focus on safety in the logistics industry • increased militancy in the industry relations arena • the proposed second Sydney airport • development of intermodal terminals • the ongoing pursuit of truly national regulators with ‘teeth’. In the face of these changes, it is clear that industry needs to be flexible and able to adapt. Where ALC will play an important role is in ensuring that new regulation achieves its stated objectives and does not become a Trojan Horse to implement new alternative agendas. We thank our industry members for their support and look forward to the major challenges that the next year will bring. Lastly, I would like to congratulate my Board and the ALC team for what has been achieved over 2011. There is no doubt that ALC has taken major steps to establish itself as the ‘go-to’ organisation representing the Australian freight logistics supply chain. Don Telford Chairman Australian Logistics Council ChAIRMAN’S MESSaGE