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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2014
8 MANAGING DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE This time next year, ALC would like to look back and see 2014 as a year of found opportunity – not lost opportunity. We are some of the way there. In 2013, a federal election year, ALC worked to put the big logistics and infrastructure issues before the political parties and the public. We also sought, as part of that overall agenda, to pursue some more specific issues of importance to our members – particularly in heavy vehicle and shipping regulation. On the bigger picture, ALC produced two major policy statements – one before the election, and one shortly after it. Each was circulated to all MPs and Senators. It would be fair to say that questions of infrastructure played a greater role in this election than perhaps any before it. That was shown by the fact that before the election, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said, ‘If elected, I want to be known as an infrastructure prime minister.’ ALC can take at least some of the credit for hammering away at these nationally important questions to get them such prominence in a federal election. The first detailed policy statement, ‘Time to Deliver’, set out four key priorities: an inland rail route; a second Sydney Airport at Badgery’s Creek; delivery on investment in critical logistics infrastructure; and reforms to increase productivity, reduce red tape and improve safety. The policy statement bore fruit. During the election, and since, on all these issues we have seen announcements of reviews and other encouraging action, and supportive statements. Especially encouraging were the reviews of the former Government’s Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal and its impossibly restrictive coastal shipping regulation – issues that the ALC has worked hard on to reverse or at least ameliorate. But, ALC will follow up on the second element of Mr Abbott’s ‘infrastructure prime minister’ statement. He said, ‘But I won’t be all talk and no action.’ This is why ALC hopes that 2014 will be a year of found opportunity. After the election, ALC produced ‘Stronger Supply Chains, a Stronger Australia’, a 10-point plan to improve supply-chain efficiency in Australia. It seized on the opportunity of a change of government to push for significant change, but its message was directed to all levels of government. The plan also moved beyond the Coalition’s election promises – important as they are – and concentrated on some long-term questions: infrastructure financing, integrating freight and urban planning, and removing Sydney’s bottlenecks. In 2013, ALC succeeded in getting a greater consensus on what needs to be done. We now have to do it. In the words of ALC Chair Don Telford, it is time to deliver. It is time to take a scalpel to unnecessary regulation and it is time to lay some steel. Michael Kilgariff Managing Director Australian Logistics Council March 2014 Message from Alc Managing Director Michael Kilgariff