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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2013
42 FORUM 2013 doing something. It is better to nd the best for the customers in different circumstances, and look at what is best for the whole basin. If not, Australia and its economy will not be as successful. Timothy Renwick said it is too disruptive and costly to change single-user rail to multi-user. On industrial relations, Brett Millar bemoaned the long election campaign. Legislation does not help resolve disputes, he said. As an industry, we need to lobby to make IR more productive. He said that he hates to contemplate how much is wasted in unproductive IR. On the issue of excessive red tape, speakers discussed their frustration at overlapping approval processes between the Commonwealth and the states, which adds costs and time to projects. The process needs to be more ef cient; otherwise, we run the risk of losing our competitive edge, or the opportunity to exploit high world prices when they appear. Brett Millar Improving productivity at our Australian ports and intermodal terminals SESSION 3 Session Chair Ian Murray, Executive Director at the Export Council of Australia, began the session by quoting gures showing that Australia was placed fth in international competitiveness ve years ago, but had now dropped to 15th, or even lower. The cause, he said, was excessive red and green tape, which is causing us to stagnate. He questioned whether Australia would be ready to compete for the markets of the growing middle class in Asia over the next decade, which is estimated to be around 200 million people in China and Indonesia alone. Mark Guscott, Vice President Commercial, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, discussed the need for better long-term thinking, particularly with regard to infrastructure. He said we need to set aside parcels of land for the future, and look at better ways of integrating new technologies into the operation of new port facilities, including new fuel sources and solar technologies. Lucio Di Bartolomeo, CEO of Moorebank Intermodal Company, said that freight ef ciencies would be generated by moving freight inland to sort it there, and then distributing it onwards. While space in urban areas is at a premium, it is harder to nd appropriate space at ports, compared to elsewhere in the city. Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary, Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), said the coastal shipping reforms are critical to revitalising Australia's domestic shipping industry, and that incentive schemes, such as zero tax and accelerated depreciation, are needed. He argued that Australia is lagging behind when it comes to encouraging superannuation and pension funds to invest in infrastructure, citing Canada as a good example that Australia should seek to follow. Don Telford responded by saying that we are costed out of that market because of the high cost of Australian labour and the costs put on by the MUA. Telford asked why we should be putting capital in that market when we have international ships running empty that are low-cost. continued on page 44 continued from page 40