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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2013
44 FORUM 2013 Session Chair Andrew Ethell, Group Director Corporate Affairs at Toll Group, opened the session by stating the strong link between improved logistics infrastructure and greater productivity. Industry and government need to focus on nationally signi cant infrastructure to drive productivity and ef ciency. Governments are seeking to utilise existing infrastructure more ef ciently, as well as looking for new methods to fund infrastructure, such as the Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform. Joe Dimasi, Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, began by saying that it was possible for competitors in an industry to cooperate, with things like standards and interoperability; however, companies had to talk to the ACCC rst. The ACCC could authorise such activity under the present law, and does so regularly, such as with the Hunter Valley Coal Chain and shipping queues. Michael Deegan, Infrastructure Coordinator at Infrastructure Australia, cited Chullora as an example of a last- mile bottleneck signi cantly impeding improved productivity. He said it was just a 100-metre upgrade, but it has been plagued by political buck-passing. Local government was not interested, the state government said it was a local government matter, and the federal government said it was not their responsibility. Then, Infrastructure Australia became involved and met with local government of cials in January. By February, they had agreed to allow heavy vehicles through. Michael Deegan said that breaking down the bureaucratic structure is a signi cant challenge for Infrastructure Australia. One state has a problem with weight on axles and holds everything up. Another state does not like blue signs on trucks, and trucks get pulled over. To counter this, Infrastructure Australia remains xed on the national economy, and uses it as a focus to drive much-needed reforms through various levels of government. On the issue of road pricing, Meena Naidu, Project Director at the Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform Project (HVCI), said we need certainty of access so investment will work. We want revenue to go to road providers, not the general tax pool, and we want road providers to respond to industry. Industry should drive the investment plans and pay for it through charges. Simon Ormsby, Executive General Manager of Strategy and Growth at Australian Rail Track Corporation, said industry must engage with politicians, especially activist ministers. He said that ministers do not get all of their advice from the public service, and industry has to use this to its advantage. Logistics infrastructure driving productivity SESSION 4 Andrew Ethell, Toll Group; Joe Dimasi, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission; Michael Deegan, Infrastructure Australia; Meena Naidu, HVCI; Simon Ormsby, Australian Rail Track Corporation; Terry Garwood, Dept. of Transport VIC. continued from page 42