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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2013
51 FUTURE FREIGHT NETWORKS 2013 Bernard Salt, KPMG Partner and trend forecaster, and writer for The Australian, delivered a stark message during his keynote address: Australia is going to change vastly in the next 10 to 20 years, and the logistics industry needs to be ready. In fact, it needs to anticipate the change and start putting in place strategies to deal with the new reality now. Salt said the ageing baby boomers will start retiring in the next 10 years, and when they start hitting their mid-60s (from now until around 2025), they will drop out of the workforce and no longer be taxpayers. This will challenge the government's revenue-raising ability and put pressure on employers' abilities to attract skilled labour. He said the signi cance of this phenomenon was illustrated by statistics showing that, on average, around 40,000 people retired each year between 1950 and 2010. From 2013, that gure will rise to beyond 100,000 people per year until 2040. His central point was that freight logistics companies needed to t their businesses to this reality. He spoke of the need to align business planning with how Australia will trend and how they will live. And given that the baby boomers are university educated, literate, demanding and have time on their hands, managing their expectations will be a challenge. With the baby boomers retiring, generations 'X' and 'Y' will soon take over the working world. How they will want to live and work should drive how businesses do their planning over the next 20 years. Salt also discussed how a growing global population would impact on the freight logistics industry. From now until 2070, when he predicts world population will peak, there will be a mad scramble for food, energy security, lifestyle, space, water, resources and commodities. The world will need 2.5 billion tonnes of food per year for seven billion people, and one-third of a tonne per person per year. So there are signi cant opportunities for food and agribusiness, and the transport supply chains underpinning them. Salt said an often forgotten aspect of the Big Australia debate was that a growing population props up the tax base. He said it is ef cient to import 18-year-olds who pay tax immediately and whose education has been paid for by someone else. Salt argued we need 180,000 immigrants a year for around 15 years -- then we can scale back. The conversation covered the growth of the ' y-in y-out' phenomenon, or FIFO, which has revolutionised how remote work areas are manned, particularly in the west. He also re ected on changing demographics in our cities, saying that changes in Melbourne's population can be seen in the television shows we watch -- The Sullivans in the 1970s was based in the centre; Kath and Kim 10 years ago was based in the south-east. The movie Kenny was based in the west. Salt concluded by discussing how the global nancial market had irreversibly changed the job market. Between November 2004 and November 2008, we added 1.1 million jobs in 17 of 19 categories. Between November 2008 and November 2012, we added just 631,000 new jobs in 13 of 19 categories, the biggest being health care, followed by education and training, and mining. He said that since the GFC, the unskilled have suffered most, and that we have hotspots of social dysfunction in Australia where there are high levels of unemployment; some at around 20 per cent. Special guest speaker Bernard Salt Bernard Salt, KPMG Partner