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Business council launches infrastructure reform agenda

Infrastructure: Roadmap for Reform, developed for the BCA by Rod Sims of Port Jackson Partners, details the approach to infrastructure reform that business would like to see reflected in the policy of the next government following the election.

"In April the BCA identified a set of reform standards essential to the next stage of Australia’s economic growth covering a range of policies. This roadmap now outlines how we can meet those standards in the critical area of infrastructure," BCA president Michael Chaney said.

"Infrastructure such as ports, road and rail transport, water, energy, and fast, accessible broadband are the building blocks for future growth but without proper planning for renewal they can quickly become serious stumbling blocks to prosperity.

"Despite recognition of the problems and some action by governments, the response to our infrastructure challenges remains piecemeal. That is why we need a commitment from the major political parties to a comprehensive and coordinated plan of action," Mr Chaney said.

Mr Chaney said while the roadmap provided a way forward in meeting our infrastructure requirements, implementation success would depend on two key factors – effectively functioning federal–state relations and a regular independent review process.

The roadmap builds on foundation strategies identified in the BCA reform standards in April including effective national infrastructure markets and national regulation; market-based prices; public investment processes; effective competition; private ownership in contestable segments; and, regulation that encourages investment.

It highlights a detailed way forward in a range of infrastructure sectors including electricity, urban and rural water, urban transport, national freight and broadband, and identifies a series of key outcomes required to meet our future economic growth.

"Australia’s economy has expanded beyond the capacity of our current infrastructure," Mr Chaney said.

"The problems with our infrastructure are well known, and include poor governance and planning arrangements and poor policy choices.

"Our roadmap provides a clear path for infrastructure reform over the next four years and will be used by the BCA as the basis for assessing future infrastructure policies of all political parties including the party the forms the next government.

"The BCA recognises that in an election year the focus on policy can be overtaken by short-term politics, but we need a clear strategic vision if we are to create the conditions to build and pass on our current prosperity to future generations.

"Australia continues to be at a crossroads in terms of addressing our infrastructure needs and developing the capacity required to meet future growth.

"But we cannot afford to let the forthcoming election become another reason why political parties defer the development of or commitment to detailed actions required to unblock our infrastructure bottlenecks and unleash our future potential.

"We call on the major political parties to commit now to a national electricity market, competitive and reliable water markets, uncongested urban transport, sufficient capacity for national freight and a truly accessible, very high speed broadband service," Mr Chaney said.

The report can be downloaded from the BCA’s website at

Mentoring Victoria

Following the success of the LAA/APICS Mentoring Program in NSW over the past five years, the program is being expanded to Victoria in 2008. Expressions of Interest from experienced professional logisticians and less senior practitioners in NSW and Victoria, to participate as mentors or mentees, in the LAA/APICS 2008  Mentoring Programs are now being sought.

Mentoring is a excellent way of ensuring that up and coming supply chain managers and logisticians develop the right skills. The APICS/LAA Ltd Mentoring Program, now entering its 5th year, offers mentees a great opportunity to talk through the issues they may be facing in their work life and to explore the options available to them in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. They can listen to the experiences of the mentors and determine the right way for them to overcome obstacles in their day-to-day roles and in their career development.  

The value of the program lies in the fact that it is industry-based. Pairing mentees with mentors from different organisations provides an enhanced learning environment. Opportunities are also provided for participants to meet each other and discuss the issues and challenges they face. This is done through group meetings or site visits.

At the end of the program, a mentee’s knowledge and experience of supply chain issues will have been accelerated by two to three years. 

Mentors attend a half-day training program facilitated by a professional mentoring trainer. Mentor training is free to participating Mentors who volunteer their time and expertise – giving back to the supply chain industry by assisting less senior supply chain professionals. Mentees also attend a two hour induction session – ensuring that they understand the mentoring relationship and are able to establish realistic expectations and set clear goals.

The Supply Chain Mentoring programs are made possible by the kind support of Dexion.

Mentoring NSW

The NSW Supply Chain Mentoring Program will commence in March 2008.

The closing date for formal applications is 4th February, 2008, although expressions of interest would be appreciated at the earliest opportunity. If you would like to participate as a mentee, a mentor or a sponsor in this program in NSW please contact: Luke Holmick/Mike Owen – email

Mentoring Victoria

The Victorian Supply Chain Mentoring Program will commence in April 2008.

The closing date for formal applications is 18th February, 2008, although expressions of interest would be appreciated at the earliest opportunity.

Those wishing to participate as a mentee, a mentor or a sponsor, in this program in Victoria,  please contact:

Luke Holmick/Mike Owen – email <>

Further information: www.laa.asn/mentorprogram or call the LAA office on

Lean consulting service aims for sustainability

CHEP Asia-Pacific has urged its food supply chain partners to think about sustainable distribution right across the supply chain, not just within company boundaries, to secure the future of an increasingly fragile food supply ecosystem.

Speaking at the Sustainable Supply Chain Forum in Sydney, the President of CHEP Asia-Pacific, Howard Wigham, said all parties would benefit if they minimised operational risks – both physical and environmental – while identifying new opportunities from the changing landscape.

“CHEP recognises that there is an opportunity to help food producers respond to climate change and increasing input costs,” Mr Wigham said. “While our expertise isn’t in food production, we can share our experience in food distribution.”

“In an environment of constrained supply, reducing waste, shrinkage and spoilage throughout the supply chain becomes critical.”

Mr Wigham said CHEP’s expertise in managing reusable, returnable supply chain packaging solutions could play an important role in helping the food industry to respond to sustainability challenges.

Best Results Australia organised the forum. Participants, including some of Australia’s largest food retailers, processors, wholesalers, growers, seed companies, banks and financiers, were told the only way to achieve sustainable agricultural supply throughout Australia’s farming community was through industry collaboration and wide scale change to existing supply chain practice.

The chairman of Best Results, Patrick Byrne, said CHEP could play an important role in reducing waste and input costs.

Mr Wigham said CHEP was seeking opportunities to work more closely with the food industry to ensure knowledge is shared more effectively.

“CHEP is in a unique position to observe the movement of fresh and processed goods through the supply chain – and we operate in 44 countries around the world,” Mr Wigham said.

“We want to build collaborative bridges with our supply chain partners, working with our customers and the industry to remove waste – compressing time, cost and space through lean thinking, reducing environmental footprints through green thinking and reducing physical harm by thinking safe.

“We have listened to our customers and many feel they would benefit from advice on lean consulting. We’re developing a new service in this area and would like to hear from organisations who’d like to participate in a pilot program,” Mr Wigham said.

For more information contact CHEP Asia-Pacific on

The state of the industry

The Logistics Association of Australia Ltd (LAA) and leading international supply chain and logistics management consultant, Logistics Bureau, have signed a Memorandum of Agreement signalling the commencement of a definitive report on the state of the logistics and supply chain industry in Australia.

LAA President Brad Harrison spoke enthusiastically about this program.  “We are delighted that Logistics Bureau has come on board to research this report, which will provide a regular annual update on the state of the industry for all our members.”

Under the agreement, Logistics Bureau will provide research content and analysis on its research findings once a year. The first annual report will comprise an economic update and a market update; define market participants and review Australian industry performance. It is anticipated that second annual report will also include findings on employment and training and regulatory environment.

Commenting on the new Supply Chain Report, Logistics Bureau Group Managing Director Rob O’Byrne said that he welcomed the opportunity of partnering with the LAA on this initiative. 

“Undertaking to deliver this research report reflects our commitment to promoting logistics and supply chain management practices, analysis and benchmarking for the benefit of the industry,” he said.

Based in Sydney and SE Asia, consultant Logistics Bureau provides direction and support in driving improved profitability, improved customer service and increased supply chain flexibility for a wide range of businesses. Logistics Bureau is also a Friend of the LAA and has been instrumental in adding value to the industry through its strong support of a number of the LAA’ s education and research programs.

Further information: Joene Baker, Executive Manager LAA Ltd, tel:

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