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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2013
35 FUTURE FREIGHT NETWORKS 2013 evidence is there, and the land identi ed and reserved. New South Wales and the Commonwealth should get on with it. He said ALC is also concerned at the prospect of another dispute in relation to the Nation Building 2 program. The Commonwealth has indicated that under Nation Building 2, which begins in 2014--2015, it will be seeking 50-50 funding arrangements with the states. Under the present Nation Building 1 program, the split is generally 80-20. ALC is calling on the federal government to maintain the 80-20 split; otherwise, overall public-sector spending on infrastructure will inevitably fall because of pressure on state budgets. In the area of regulation, ALC will continue to push for all proposed new laws to be subject to greater levels of scrutiny so the costs are clear for all to see. Mr Telford also said ALC will advocate for a review of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal Act. The ALC's concerns stem from the potential of the Tribunal straying into areas that put it in con ict with the Heavy Vehicle National Law, and workplace health and safety legislation. He concluded by reinforcing ALC's strong commitment to safety, and its focus in 2013 on continuing to expand the National Logistics Safety Code. Keynote address The Victorian Minister for Public Transport and Roads, Terry Mulder, provided delegates with a comprehensive overview of freight in Victoria, now and in the future. His message to delegates was that freight does not ring a bell in the community, but it drives the economy and puts people in jobs. He stressed the importance of the freight logistics sector to Victoria's economy, and provided an overview of the Ministerial Freight Advisory Council, which has been set up to advise Mr Mulder and the Minister for Ports, Mr David Hodgett. He also cited a number of major projects designed to improve freight ef ciency in the state, including four major projects to upgrade regional highways in Victoria, and a number of upgrades to metropolitan roads. Mr Mulder said that 36 per cent of the nation's container trade goes through the Port of Melbourne, and that 43 per cent of containers going through Geelong and Portland contain agriculture produce. He claimed that Victoria captures freight from South Australia and southern New South Wales because exporters nd Victoria more suitable. But, he added, the metropolitan area posed the biggest freight challenge. Freight is too dependent on the M1 as the only east-west crossing. To address this, Victoria is to build a new 18-kilometre east-west link, which would take pressure off the M1 and the Westgate. Mr Mulder said Victoria is increasing the use of more high-productivity freight vehicles. A-double and B-triple trucks will be given wider approval on regional roads, and B-doubles will be given access to more metropolitan roads. But he said the productivity of B-doubles has stalled, and that longer B-doubles are needed to reverse the trend. A longer version -- four metres longer -- will be granted access to more Victorian roads; but there was a need to put safety at the forefront to get community support. Mr Mulder said we have to make sure that longer trucks do not become demonised and get 'picked off' by single-issue activists. He discussed Victoria's funding of a Mode Shift Incentive Scheme to move freight from road to rail in a way that gives economic, social and environmental bene ts at minimal cost to government. Mr Mulder made the point that 40-kilometre-per-hour rail transport is not a viable alternative to road transport, and that rail needs upgrades to make it competitive. Overall, Victoria is spending $171 million on rail upgrades. Track and signalling upgrades will enable 30 more grain freight trains to transit through Geelong, for example, by lifting axle load restrictions from 19 to 23 tonnes per axle. Upgrades will see more certainty regarding train times and will allow for more and longer trains. Victoria is looking at standard-gauge links to join the trans-continental link. It is examining a Melbourne to Perth standard- gauge track, bypassing Adelaide. This would double-stack containers, making it more competitive with road. Mr Mulder outlined Victoria's plans for greater port capacity, and the planning for the Port of Hastings -- which he said has deep water and available land -- as the second international port. He concluded by saying that the freight task will double in the next three decades. In response, the government has established priorities for rail, road and sea, and begun the process of rail links to Melbourne and Avalon airports -- both are international and without a curfew. The Hon Terry Mulder MP The Hon Terry Mulder MP Victorian Minister for Public Transport and Roads.