Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese released Australia’s first National Land Freight Strategy on 7 September.  The strategy aims to build and maintain a modern, well-planned, efficient and safe freight and logistics network that supports Australia’s future economic development.

“The release of the Strategy provides a unique opportunity to fix the regulatory and infrastructure failures that have constrained miners, manufacturers and farmers and cost the Australian economy tens of billions of dollars in lost export earnings”,  Mr Albanese said

Mr Albanese acknowledged the magnitude of managing the freight task and the associated challenges “Our freight and logistics network is the lifeblood of the Australian economy, but
at present it is struggling to cope with the existing demands being placed on it, let alone the doubling in freight volumes expected between now and 2030,” he said.

The Strategy is underpinned by a number of key principles, including:
• One national, integrated network
• Better use of our existing infrastructure:
•Fairer, more sustainable financing arrangements:
•Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) considered the Strategy at its 9th November meeting and agreed to the vision, objectives and principles that will underpin further development of the National Land Freight Strategy.

The next step will be for the nation’s senior transport and Infrastructure Officials to work together to develop an action plan to give effect to the Strategy’s vision. The draft work
plan to implement the Strategy will be developed in close consultation with Infrastructure Australia, the National Transport Commission, industry and local government and will be
considered by SCOTI at its first meeting in 2013.