New Draft National Freight Strategy Now Looking for Comment from All Parties

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18th April 2011, 10:01pm - Views: 3944

In late February 2011, Anthony Albanese released the draft National Freight Strategy for public feedback calling it a blueprint for a truly national, integrated and multimodal transport system capable of moving goods from point A to point B quickly, reliably and efficiently. A very welcome initiative.

That this is allegedly the nations first ever National Freight Strategy (especially following the recent first ever National Ports Strategy) is a monumental indictment of the nations strategic national planning endeavours over many decades. It beggars belief that national approaches of this kind have never before been articulated for such strategically crucial policy areas. One can only hope that at last, late is better than never

Whilst very encouraging, the trick will now be to see these various strategies and studies be integrated into one overall comprehensive set of decision making protocols that lead to funding and then prompt, effectively integrated productive action. A rapidly changing world is unlikely to patiently wait or indeed care, while a mere few million of us try to get our act together

In releasing the National Freight Strategy, Mr. Albanese included some noteworthy projections for freight for the period from 2010 to 2030:

  • Truck traffic is predicted to increase by 50% from 5.7 to 8.5 billion kilometres
  • Rail freight is expected to jump 90% from 235 to 445 billion tonne kilometres
  • The number of containers moving through the nations wharves will increase by 150% from 6.2 to 15.4 million
  • The volume of freight flown into and out of Australia has more than doubled over the last twenty years and is expected to increase by almost 110% from 5.5 to 11.4 billion tonne kilometres by 2030.
  • Freight volumes nationwide are set to double between 2007 and 2030.

Courageous leadership, a nation building policy perspective, political dynamism and competent planning will all be needed to get the balance right as our PM is so fond of saying. Getting the states and territories to take on a national perspective will also be essential.

The engagement initiative will involve Infrastructure Australia working with state and territory authorities, councils and industry bodies before submitting the final Strategy to COAG for endorsement.

The author of this article is Dan Stojanovich. Read more of Dan's articles on

Provide your feedback of the draft national freight strategy. Submissions close end of April

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