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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2013
2 CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE As we count down the months to the federal election in September, it is timely to not only re ect on what's been achieved over the past 12 months, but also, just as importantly, to focus on what still needs to be done to boost productivity, ef ciency and safety in the sector. While progress has been made in some areas, it is equally clear that there is much more to be done in a range of others. Now is the time for action, and for governments to turn bold statements of intent into tangible outcomes. A number of signi cant milestones need to be reached to implement a truly national regulatory framework. There needs to be a renewed focus from all levels of government to ensure that we have the right infrastructure in place to meet a rising freight task. And we need a rebalancing of the ledger in the industrial relations arena, which has continued to tilt disproportionately against business over the past 12 months. Members face a variety of challenges in the IR arena. Various jurisdictional legislations and regulations, industry culture, emerging trends and union operations have the potential to prevent or impede productivity, ef ciency and safety. In keeping with the vision, mission and objectives of ALC, and for the bene t of the membership, sometimes pertinent comments, submissions or representations on IR matters can and should be made. To say what needs to be said; to say what members can't; and to say it when and where it needs to be said, to whom it needs to be said -- these are the bene ts the ALC can deliver for members. These imperatives underscore why ALC has called on the federal government not to reduce spending on nationally signi cant infrastructure under the Nation Building 2 program, why we are seeking improvement in regulation quality, and why we continue to encourage and promote practical measures that improve safety in the sector. ALC will also continue to advocate for a more balanced industrial relations playing eld -- without which productivity levels in the sector will continue to suffer. Over the next 12 months, ALC will continue to point out the enormous economic and social bene ts of more streamlined national regulation of heavy vehicle, rail and shipping, and is determined to ensure that parochial interests and other agendas do not prevent this. We will also put a consistent view about regulation of the logistics industry to governments at all levels, and to the public more broadly through the media. The work is too important and the bene ts to Australia too great for the logistics industry not to be an active player in pushing a reform agenda to government, and the public more generally. ALC will also continue to support Infrastructure Australia's proposal for more privatisation of infrastructure where the public sector is falling behind, and call on asset owners to move from being passive preservers to actively engaging in a fee-for-service approach. Finally, we will continue to push for a performance-based, non-prescriptive approach to safety and risk management. I am proud of the fact that a number of positions that ALC has strongly argued for in past years have been adopted in legislation. Perhaps most important was the legislative recognition that freight objectives in coastal shipping must be at least equal to the objective of maintaining an Australian coastal eet. Nonetheless, the timelines of some other objectives have been pushed out, particularly the national heavy vehicle regulator. Also, other reform objectives have been left almost totally dependent on state efforts, with a worrying lack of funding commitment, incentive for action or penalty for inaction. In short, 2012 has been a year of hard work, and some worthwhile progress, but with the realisation that a lot remains to be done if Australia is to reap the full bene ts of a productive, ef cient and safe logistics industry. Don Telford Chairman Australian Logistics Council Good progress, but much more to be done