The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) welcomes the release of the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities Report.

“The report recommendations reflect many of the ARA’s policy priorities, particularly in the areas of corridor protection, heavy vehicle pricing, short haul rail, consistency between state and federal plans, and improved land use planning,” said ARA CEO, Danny Broad.

“The final report provides a range of recommendations across the critical areas of investment, governance and reform which are critical to improving the efficiency and productivity of the freight rail sector.

The rail industry is pleased that key recommendations include the sector playing a direct consultative role in the strategy’s development and a formal advisory role thereafter.

“The recommendation to adopt an Industry Expert Panel as part of the development of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, including widespread industry engagement is vital to ensuring a future freight and supply chain strategy meets the needs of our industry. Furthermore, continuous input through an Industry Advisory Group to monitor progress with implementation of a National Strategy will ensure that a national strategy is on track with broad consensus and support,” said Danny Broad.

“We are also pleased to see a recommendation linking all new infrastructure funding to achieving freight outcomes in planning and decision making at all levels of government.

“Now that we have a Report that highlights what our National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities should look like, we need to continue momentum by focusing on how the recommendations can be implemented through a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

“We need strong leadership at the Commonwealth level to drive these recommendations and reforms forward, working closely with State and Territory Governments to follow-through with recommendations; supported by a clear and transparent workplan to assist industry in monitoring and tracking progress to ensure governments are kept to account and key recommendations in this Report are adopted and implemented effectively.

“I also congratulate the Inquiry Panel members – Marika Calfas, CEO NSW Ports, Maurice James, Managing Director, Qube, Nicole Lockwood, Chair Western Australia Freight and Logistics Council and David Simon, Executive Chairman, Simon National Carriers on the important role they have played to work with industry to develop the report’s recommendations,” concluded Danny Broad.