ALC safety summit insight to shape future strategy

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) identified a number of priority areas at the its Supply Chain Safety & Compliance Summit that will form the basis of its efforts to improve supply chain safety over the year ahead.
The event was held in Sydney this week, and featured an address by the Hon. Melinda Pavey MP, NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, as well as a keynote presentation by Sarah Bell, UK Traffic Commissioner for London and the South East of England, focusing on the central role of UK Traffic Commissioners in managing risks to road safety.
“The Summit, which was attended by more than 280 people from across the supply chain, reinforced ALC’s position as Australia’s leading industry advocate for supply chain safety and compliance,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“As the Summit’s opening video noted, Chain of Responsibility (CoR) is all about safety. These two days were an invaluable opportunity for industry representatives to recommit to continuous improvement, learn more about effective safety practices, and consider how to apply these techniques in their own day-to-day operations.”
A core focus of the Summit was the upcoming changes to Chain of Responsibility obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), and the development of a Registered Industry Code of Practice (Master Code) to assist CoR compliance.
“Through a series of consultative workshops, attendees also had the opportunity to directly shape the content of the Master Code for heavy-vehicle safety, currently being developed by ALC in partnership with the Australian Trucking Association (ATA),” added Kilgariff.
As a result of the discussions that occurred at the Summit, the ALC has identified a number of key themes, and the actions flowing from these will form the basis of ALC’s safety-related work program over the coming year. These are:
1. The Master Code is a significant step – but it can’t solve all the problems. 
The ALC will work to ensure it is comprehensive resource for industry – but organisations will still need to consider their own operational circumstances when thinking about CoR compliance.
2. Continuous improvement in safety is a core aspect of freight’s social licence. 
The ALC will work with industry and governments to highlight the improved technology and safety features of modern heavy vehicles to contribute to improved safety for all road users, including passenger vehicles.
3. Safety is a shared responsibility. 
The ALC will continue working to highlight this within the industry and in other sectors, especially given the increased CoR obligations of directors/executive officers from mid-2018. Driving continuous improvement in compliance is both good community practice and good business practice.
4. There is scope to make greater use of telematics and technology in safety.
The ALC will continue to advocate for the compulsory use of telematics to improve safety, as well as the removal of legislative and regulatory barriers that prevent the uptake of technology that improves safety and productivity.
5. CoR compliance will increasingly factor into procurement and contract arrangements. 
Both governments and listed companies are writing CoR compliance requirements into contractual arrangements, and won’t deal with businesses that can’t demonstrate compliance. Through the delivery of the Master Code, ALC will assist businesses to develop procedures they need to not only ensure compliance, but also demonstrate it.
6. Training is vital. 
Businesses need to make certain their employees (and subcontractors) understand their CoR obligations. The ALC will emphasise the importance of building CoR compliance components into training employee training modules – for both new and existing employees.
7. Relatively low cost of entry to industry poses safety risks. 
Often new entrants to the sector are failing to invest adequately in vehicle safety and CoR compliance. The ALC will continue our advocacy on operator licensing/compliance and work with regulators to encourage a particular focus on compliance in this area of the market, especially given anticipated growth in e-commerce and peer-to-peer freight delivery models.
8. Executives need to understand CoR compliance and effectiveness of their organisation’s systems. 
Board reporting on CoR is not just a good way of ensuring obligations are being complied with – but is also a good way of keeping safety issues a priority for businesses. The ALC will continue to work with industry to develop metrics for CoR board reporting that makes the information provided to executives meaningful, and capable of driving safety and business improvement.
9. Heavy vehicles are still overrepresented in accident and fatality statistics – even though heavy vehicle drivers are not always the party at fault. 
Trend lines have started to run the wrong way – and this is not a time for complacency. The ALC will engage with law-enforcement and regulatory agencies to help determine what factors are driving this (including illicit drug use), and assist with the development and delivery of strategies to combat them.
10. Messages about load restraint/overloading are still not penetrating the whole of the industry. 
The ALC will continue to support regulators’ efforts to promote this critical safety issue, particularly among smaller and independent operators.

ACCC given port pricing regulation power

A Federal Court ruling has given the Australian Competition and Consumer Competition (ACCC) power to monitor and regulate pricing at the Port of Newcastle.
Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) General Manager Simon O’Hara said RFNSW was carefully analysing the ruling but described it as a “precedent case of intervention for the regulator.”
“It certainly sends a very strong message to industry about price gouging and that price increases need to be on the basis of an actual increase in costs,” O’Hara said.
RFNSW has thus called for the ACCC to act on new stevedore taxes imposed on truck operators.
“We believe there’s a lesson to be learnt here for stevedores, given that they have burdened our members with unreasonable increases in charges for accessing their terminals at Port Botany.
“They’re on notice.
“In light of the Federal Court’s ruling, RFNSW is again calling on the ACCC to act, for the sake of our members and other users of port infrastructure.”
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has reminded the ACCC to ensure it is sufficiently resourced and has personnel possessing experience in the operation and/or regulation of logistics infrastructure.
“There are many specialist and complex issues at work with the operation of supply chains and logistics infrastructure,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“[The] Federal Court decision seems to point to increasing ACCC involvement in pricing and access issues at ports.
“If that is going to be the case, then it is imperative that the ACCC ensures it is properly resourced with personnel who have had exposure to and experience in dealing with the complex and unique nature of these infrastructure assets,” he said.
“Any regulatory role played by the ACCC in the freight logistics sector must be fit for purpose.”

ALC says freight “crucial” to city development

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has stressed the importance of efficient and safe supply chains in its submission to the House of Representatives’ enquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities.
“The essential items most Australians take for granted – our food, household appliances, clothing, medications and cars, to name just a handful – are generally not grown or manufactured close to the cities where most of us live,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“Because of this, it is critical that as the Australian Government develops and implements their cities policies, adequate attention is given to the way freight moves in our cities.
“While urban renewal has become a policy priority for state and local governments, the reality is land-use changes, made to allow further residential and commercial developments, are increasingly impinging on the efficiency of Australia’s supply chains.”
Kilgariff added that operations at nationally significant infrastructure facilities including Port Botany, Fremantle Port and the Port of Melbourne are currently, or are at risk of, being constrained due to urban encroachment.
“A truly safe and efficient supply chain needs to be able to operate round the clock, so that freight movement is able to occur at all times and operators can take advantage of off-peak road traffic volumes,” he said.
“[The] ALC’s submission also discusses the importance of corridor protection. For example, a recent study by Infrastructure Australia (IA) found that, with adequate corridor protections in place, $66 million could be saved when a future freight rail line is constructed to the Port of Brisbane.
“A discussion on CBD freight delivery, the separation of passenger and freight infrastructure and insufficient integration of new and existing transport infrastructure also forms part of [the] ALC’s submission.”
The ALC will be appearing before the Committee to elaborate on its submission at a Public Hearing in Canberra on Friday, 11 August.
 
 

Brookfield Rail renamed Arc Infrastructure

Western Australian rail infrastructure owner and access provider Brookfield Rail has been renamed Arc Infrastructure.
“It’s an exciting time for our business,” said CEO Paul Larsen. “While we remain a Brookfield company, we’re looking forward to creating our own unique identity as Arc Infrastructure.”
Larsen said that as the long-term manager of the state’s 5,500km freight rail network, Arc Infrastructure has a proven track record of connecting WA with national and global markets.
“As Arc Infrastructure, our new name reflects our commitment to making an even greater contribution to the growth of Western Australia’s economy,” he said. “We have been extremely open with our people throughout the entire process. We asked them what was important to them and this feedback formed the foundations of our new identity.
“We see this as a great opportunity to create our own identity while still having the support of our parent company Brookfield. We look forward to continuing to deliver positive outcomes and contribute to the state as Arc Infrastructure.”
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) noted that it was looking forward to working with Arc Infrastructure.
“WA’s economy is heavily export driven, and the importance of an efficient and safe freight network will only increase in the years ahead, as Australia’s free trade agreements with key international markets boost the state’s export trade,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“[The] ALC looks forward to working closely with Arc Infrastructure on building the state’s freight capacity, which is a crucial aspect of diversifying Western Australia’s economy and capitalising on the benefits of recent free trade agreements.”
“We also look forward to Arc Infrastructure’s continuing engagement on the development of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. Close cooperation with the major freight logistics operators in every state and territory is essential to producing a Strategy that meets industry needs and delivers real economic benefits.”
 

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IA endorses corridor protection imperative

Infrastructure Australia (IA) has released a policy paper on the importance of land preservation for future infrastructure needs, Corridor Protection: Planning and investing for the long term.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed the paper, noting that it “powerfully demonstrates the importance of corridor protection in preventing cost blowouts, project delays and community disruption on infrastructure projects.”
“[The] ALC has consistently worked to highlight the necessity of corridor preservation as part of a consistent and coherent approach to developing Australia’s national freight infrastructure,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“Good planning leads to good infrastructure outcomes for the community,” he added. “Preserving corridors to accommodate the infrastructure needed to meet our future freight task lies at the heart of responsible planning policy.
“This new policy paper from IA adds to the weight of evidence demonstrating just how vital corridor preservation is. Making the right decisions today not only helps to reduce the cost of infrastructure projects in the future, but also avoids community conflict and social dislocation by providing certainty as to land use.”
Kilgariff noted that corridor protection was a core theme during a recent ALC workshop held in Brisbane, due to the need to preserve a corridor that will permit an alternative dedicated freight rail connection from the Inland Rail route through to the Port of Brisbane.
“It is pleasing to note IA’s policy paper highlights this very project as one that would substantially benefit from taking immediate action on the matter,” he added. “IA estimates potential savings of $66 million could be achieved if governments act quickly to protect this freight corridor.
“Of course it is equally important to preserve land and corridors in Melbourne, to permit development of an interstate freight terminal that will enable a port-to-port connection for Inland Rail.”

ALC releases 2017 yearbook: Future Freight Networks

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has published its official 2017 yearbook: Future Freight Networks. The document details the Council’s advocacy efforts throughout the year, the policy positions it took to government, and the major events held to support its policy agenda.
Future Freight Networks features a comprehensive summary of the 2017 ALC Forum, which brought together 300 key industry leaders, policy makers and stakeholders in March to debate and discuss the critical and significant infrastructure policy issues on the national agenda.
The publication also includes editorials, advertisements and interviews from a range of supply chain industry participants.
“Thank you to those companies for their contribution to the yearbook which illustrates the enormous breadth and depth of our industry,” the ALC said in a media release.
The outcomes of the 2017 ALC Forum contributed to the ALC’s recently released working paper – Charting The Course For A National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy (Working Paper 2, June 2017), launched at Parliament House on 21 June.
The Working Paper is supported by a new video (see below) outlining the importance of getting the content of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy right, both for the freight logistics industry and for the Australian economy as a whole.
To obtain a hard copy of Future Freight Networks or Charting The Course For A National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, contact the ALC.
 

Input sought on Australia’s future supply chain

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has called for submissions on a discussion paper for the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities.
“The Australian Government has announced a record $75 billion infrastructure investment programme, which comprises a range of freight initiatives including the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail and the Western Sydney Airport,” Chester said.
“Feedback on the discussion paper will help the inquiry examine how our investment in the freight network can boost the nation’s prosperity and meet community expectations for safety, security and environmental amenity.
“It will also further our understanding of what challenges and opportunities lie ahead, and how we can take advantage of them.
Chester noted that the discussion paper offers an opportunity for key freight stakeholders such as carriers, shippers, forwarders, primary producers, land developers and consumers to have their voices heard.
“Everybody is part of the national supply chain, whether you are a consumer, business owner, producer, farmer or freight operator,” he added.
Submissions close on 28 July 2017. For more details on how to make a submission, visit the infrastructure.gov website.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has welcomed the release of the Discussion Paper.
“[The] ALC believes there is merit in engaging in a wide-ranging public debate involving government, industry and the community to ensure road funding reform proposals improve supply chain efficiency against the backdrop of an increasing national freight task,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“[The] ALC supports a critical analysis of the current PAYGO formula for road pricing, which is an inefficient and ultimately unsustainable approach to road pricing. As the 2015 Harper Review stated, ‘roads are the least reformed of all infrastructure sectors’, and the Discussion Paper makes it clear the Federal Government is prepared to address this problem.
“As ALC has consistently said, a reform of this nature will only succeed if the freight logistics industry is actively involved in the development of the new road pricing system. It is therefore pleasing that the Government is seeking industry comment on the options put forward in the Discussion Paper.”

Melbourne’s second port to be built – in 2055

Infrastructure Victoria has made recommendations to the Andrews government that Melbourne’s second major container port should be built near Werribee, but not for another 40 years, The Age reports.
The suggested site, Bay West, is located between Werribee and Point Wilson, though Infrastructure Victoria notes that it will not be needed until container traffic outgrows capacity at the Port of Melbourne, estimated to happen by 2055.
The port’s container terminal would offshore a four-kilometre industrial island connected via a 1.5-kilometre road and rail bridge.
Road and rail links would need to be established across Melbourne Water’s Western Treatment Plant, a protected site for birdlife.
Infrastructure Australia decided to remove another contender from the running, the Port of Hastings in the south-east of Melbourne, due to to the estimated $5 billion cost of connecting it to Melbourne’s rail network via the Pakenham-Cranbourne line, and the risk of increasing shipping traffic in the ecologically delicate Western Port.
The advisory body did add that the Port of Hastings could perform a supporting role, dealing with shipping of non-containerised goods.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed Infrastructure Victoria’s advice on securing Victoria’s future ports capacity.
“[The] ALC provided a submission to Infrastructure Victoria which stated that the Port of Melbourne should be able to operate as efficiently as possible for as long as possible,” said ALC Managing Director, Michael Kilgariff.
“[The] ALC will continue to advocate that the recent lease of the Port of Melbourne should ensure it has an operational life of 50 years. Significant long-term investments made by those in the freight logistics industry must be respected and supported by all governments.
“The fact that a second container port has been mooted for operation post-2055, should not prevent much-needed infrastructure, such as the port rail shuttle, from being planned, financed and built as soon as practicable,” he added.
“We also look forward to the Victorian Government’s response to Infrastructure Victoria’s 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy, which incorporated practical measures such as protecting freight precincts, improving rail access at the Port of Melbourne and progressing the Western Interstate freight terminal.”

Federal Government invests $55 million in smart transport R&D centre

The federal government is supporting a new intelligent transport cooperative research centre – the iMOVE CRC – with a $55 million R&D grant.
The iMOVE CRC – a new national intelligent transport R&D centre funded through the Co-operative Research Centres programme – has been in development for over 18 months. It is supported by 46 industry, government and research partners including the federal departments of ‘Industry Innovations and Science’ and ‘Infrastructure and Regional Development’, state road authorities, retailers, logistics and insurance companies, technology developers, automobile clubs and many of Australia’s top universities.
“Transport is the backbone of our economy. As a country we will fall behind if we cannot move our people and goods effectively and efficiently,” said iMOVE CRC Bid Lead, Ian Christensen.
“Our roads are congested and our transport systems are not coordinated and it’s getting worse in many cases. The establishment of the iMOVE CRC gives us an immediate opportunity to tackle this situation, by harnessing the power of ‘big data’, developing smarter solutions and engaging with the community to trial and deploy new technologies.”
iMOVE CRC Bid Chair, Ian Murray AM, said “As a country, we lose around $16.5 billion a year because of congestion. When you also factor in the human and financial losses due to accidents, we are looking at a phenomenal social and economic cost. We will now have the technology and smarts available to significantly alleviate these problems.
“The iMOVE CRC has a research program and experienced people ready to start work immediately. I am tremendously excited by the opportunities we have in front of us with this funding.”
The iMOVE CRC will play a role alongside other national bodies in assisting states, territories and peak industry bodies to collaborate and deliver cohesive national outcomes.
“The current explosion of data, the computing power of mobile phones, and the increasing automation of vehicles creates a vast range of opportunities to improve the range, safety, convenience and effectiveness of peoples’ travel options,” said Christensen. “Mobility and transport is one of the most exciting and dynamic aspects of urban and economic development. With its broad range of partners the iMOVE CRC will enable Australian organisations to develop world leading products and services.
“As well as with our partners we will be working in consultation with numerous other stakeholders, such as the Australian Logistics Council and the National Transport Commission. This will enable us to get the best possible outcomes for Australia.”

ALC urges thorough analysis of Very Fast Train proposal

Any proposal to build a Very Fast Train (VFT) from Sydney to Melbourne should be passed straight to Infrastructure Australia (IA) for a thorough cost-benefit analysis, according to Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director of the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).
Kilgariff was commenting on a reported proposal by Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA), an Australian-based consortium that says it has secured almost 20,000ha for new development sites along the rail corridor. CLARA says it will present an unsolicited bid to the Prime Minister within the first half of this year, funded by ‘value capture’.
Kilgariff said infrastructure funds were too scarce to commit to any significant project unless it had the full scrutiny of Infrastructure Australia. “There is a real risk that funds which ought to be devoted to worthwhile projects, such as Inland Rail, will be squandered on the VFT project,” he said. “ALC firmly believes that major projects need to have an independent detailed cost-benefit analysis.
“To date, all VFT proposals have failed any rigorous cost-benefit analysis. If anything the VFT case will become weaker in the light of the approval of Sydney’s second airport.”
“IA’s Infrastructure Priority List has identified Inland Rail as a Priority Project, noting the long-term benefits to potential users of the project, users of alternative infrastructure, and the broader economy,” Kilgariff added. “The trouble with committing to a VFT is that it would divert funds from more worthwhile projects, such as Inland Rail, at a time when the Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne passenger corridor is reasonably well-served.”
Kilgariff said there were also grounds for caution and scepticism about plans to ‘value capture’ increases in land prices to fund infrastructure – as shown in the ALC submission to the Federal Government discussion paper Using Value Capture to Help Deliver Major Land Transport Infrastructure last year.
“Proponents often couch big infrastructure proposals as ‘no cost to government’, but inevitably taxpayers are asked to contribute and they are entitled to demand value for money and wise allocation of resources,” he said.
CLARA has reportedly secured 50 per cent of the land needed to build eight new cities along the train line, with the company’s chairman and co-founder Nick Cleary said the project was driven by the prospect of turning cow paddocks into prime property, according to The Australian. “This is a real estate plan as opposed to a railway plan,” he reportedly said.

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