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Queensland election “vital” for freight logistics industry: ALC

The Australian Logistics Council has written to party leaders in Queensland ahead of the 25 November state election, asking them to outline their policies on key issues such as corridor protection, congestion, the development of critical freight infrastructure and improved road safety through the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
Letters were sent during the first week of the campaign to the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Queensland Premier; Tim Nicholls MP, Leader of the Opposition; Steve Dickson MP, One Nation Leader; and Rob Katter, MP of Katter’s Australian Party.
“Queensland plays a vital role in sustaining Australia’s freight logistics network, and with significant growth expected in the state’s freight task over the next decade, it is crucial that Queensland’s political leaders address our industry’s priorities ahead of the state election,” said Ian Murray AM, Chairman, ALC.
He noted that one of the most urgent priorities is preserving a rail corridor that will permit the construction of an alternative dedicated freight rail connection from the Inland Rail route through to the Port of Brisbane.
“This corridor must be preserved now to minimise construction costs for a future rail connection to the port,” he added. “This is essential to guarding against the impact of urban encroachment on this critical piece of freight infrastructure, and deriving the full economic benefits of this significant national project.”
Infrastructure Australia has calculated that up to $66 million could be saved on construction costs of a future freight rail connection to the Port of Brisbane if appropriate corridor protection strategies are put in place, Murray noted.
“ALC has also called on the next Queensland Parliament to provide certainty to the heavy vehicle industry by acting swiftly to pass the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 201,” he said.
“This legislation contains a number of significant measures which ALC believes will improve road safety. It should be passed by the Queensland Parliament as a matter of priority following the state election.”
Murray added that Queensland’s political leaders have also been asked to outline their approach on a range of other policy matters, as highlighted by the ALC in its Queensland Freight Priorities document, released in August 2017.
“These include measures to reduce road congestion, and ensuring the regulation of Queensland’s freight transport infrastructure affords our industry the flexibility it needs to operate 24/7,” Murray said. “This will be essential to meeting a freight task that is rapidly growing due to Queensland’s rising population, growing export markets and the expansion of e-commerce.”

Mainfreight expands Australian network

Transport and logistics company Mainfreight is developing its regional network in Australia, opening new branches in Bendigo, Victoria; and Toowoomba, Queensland.
“Our commitment to delivering exceptional customer service across all areas of the supply chain has seen our investment in our network and facilities continue to increase,” the company said in a statement.
“Over the last three years we have completed over a dozen significant building projects in Australia’s capital cities both in our domestic and international businesses.
“Further development is now taking place in other major cities – these investments are designed to optimise productivity and increase service levels for our customers.”
Mainfreight has projected that its new facility under construction in Newcastle, New South Wales, is due to be completed by early 2018. The 5,800m2 facility with 4,200m² of raised dock will reportedly allow loaders to have better line-of-sight when loading goods. The site will also include four rear loading docks and 7,200m² hardstand.
Mainfreight has also commented on its site extension in Albury, New South Wales.
“We originally moved into this depot in 2012 and the last five years have seen our team and operations expand so much that we are now increasing the site by over 50 per cent.
“Completed in August 2017, the extension includes 1,000m² of hardstand and provides excellent access for B-doubles and other large vehicles.”

Adaptalift acquires Budget Forklifts

Adaptalift Group has acquired Budget Forklifts, the Yale dealer for Western Australia and Queensland that was established in 1968.
Adaptalift Group will continue to operate Budget Forklifts as the Yale dealership in the existing territories.
“Budget Forklifts has over 1,200 assets in its fleet, its customer base includes some of Australia’s best known companies,” Adaptalift said in a statement. “Importantly, Budget Forklifts brings an increased footprint to the states of Western Australia and Queensland where our joint operations will have significant scale.
“Budget Forklift’s business is complementary to our current rental, service and parts operations and we share a common operating platform.
Adaptalift Group is excited to have acquired Budget Forklifts increasing product and service offerings and delivering even greater customer value.”
The sale completion took place on 4 September.

Australian cold-chain industry forms food-waste advocacy group

Australia’s first advocacy group to improve compliance and standards in the handling of food at all levels of the cold chain has been established at a meeting in Queensland.
The inaugural session of the Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC) on 7 August 2017 brought together representatives from the manufacturing, food transport, refrigeration and cold chain industries.
The Council has reportedly been established in response to mounting community pressure about the costs and environmental damage of food wastage, with the AFCCC positioning itself as an important part of the solution, encouraging innovation, compliance, waste reduction and safety across the Australian food cold chain.
“The new Council is not about promoting an industry – we want to change the industry for the better, said Interim Chair, Mark Mitchell.
“One of our priorities will be to apply whatever pressure is needed in industry and in government to make sure the existing Australian standards for cold chain food handling are properly followed.
“There’s lots of rhetoric in government programs, associations and among food handlers and suppliers about commitments to food waste reduction and cold chain compliance, but little, if nothing, is being done at any level about improving the cold chain, and ensuring that standards are followed. Australia’s track record in efficient cold food handling, from farm to plate, is far from perfect.”
The interim directors of AFCCC are Stephen Elford General Manager Australia New Zealand, Carrier Transicold; Mark Mitchell, Managing Director, SuperCool Australia Pacific; Peter Lawrence, Technical Director ANZ, Thermo King; Kyle Hawker, Transport Manager, Simplot Australia; Adam Wade, National Transport Leader, Lion; Kevin Manfield, General Manager – Products & Markets, MaxiTRANS Australia; plus a nominated individual representing the transport industry.
The AFCCC asserts that on average, Australians waste 860kg of food per person annually, with at least five per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from food wastage.
Mitchell noted that Australian industry is well placed to attack the issue.
“Performance across the cold-food chain can be improved with better equipment and handling processes as well as with improved monitoring and assessment to determine where the weaknesses lie,” he said.
The new advocacy group’s first priorities will be contributing to both the development of the National Food Waste Strategy and becoming part of the CRC designed to address food waste and fraud.

HVIA CEO to retire

Brett Wright has announced that he will retire from his role as CEO of national industry association Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA).
“It is with many great memories, fondness and pride that I announce my leaving HVIA,” Wright said.
“I have been privileged, firstly to have been given the opportunity to work for The Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Queensland (CVIAQ) all those years ago and then to continue to lead it over the last twenty years, culminating in its transformation into a truly national industry body, HVIA, in 2015.”
Wright commenced his career with, what was then, CVIAQ in 1996 and took over the role of CEO shortly after.
“It has been a great journey and one that I will always cherish, together with the many wonderful friendships made,” he added.
“I have also been privileged to have worked with many great leaders of industry.”
Wright will stay in his role until the HVIA Board finds a suitable successor.

QLD boosts safety on road-freight network

Queensland will roll out of three new automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras across the state’s road freight network.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said the new cameras would monitor heavy vehicles, boosting heavy-vehicle safety and providing another step towards a national heavy-vehicle compliance network.
“The high-tech monitoring cameras will be used to encourage safer driving practices on our major heavy vehicle routes and freight network,” Chester said.
“The first of three new cameras has been installed at Goodna, with further cameras to be installed over the next 12 months at Barcaldine and near Morven in regional Queensland. The new cameras are being delivered in conjunction with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and will continue to target safety on key freight corridors and black spots.”
Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud welcomed the introduction of cameras near Morven and Barcaldine.
“Trucks and heavy vehicles are the lifeblood of our transport network in the bush,” he said. “The Coalition is heavily investing in upgrading key freight corridors throughout regional Queensland to not only make sure transportation happens efficiently, but also to keep our roads safe.
“Near Morven is a junction between the Warrego and Landsborough Highways and near Barcaldine is where the Capricorn and Landsborough Highways meet. These two areas represent very important transportation connections in my electorate so it makes sense safety is a priority.
“These cameras will be a part of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s National Compliance Information System, which will amalgamate compliance and camera data from states and territories to provide a national set of heavy vehicle–related compliance and monitoring data.”
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said putting more cameras on the ground was a critical step towards better data sharing across borders and would reinforce efforts to make Australia’s major freight networks safer.
“As we bring these cameras online, authorities can better detect risky behaviour and unsafe practices by heavy vehicles on our roads, which helps narrow our focus for compliance and enforcement efforts,” he said. “National visibility of vehicle movements will allow the NHVR and other enforcement agencies to identify drivers and operators who systematically flout fatigue laws.”
The NHVR is currently working with other state road transport authorities to identify additional camera sites along the busiest freight routes to maximise heavy vehicle monitoring capability.
In April, five sites along major Australian freight routes were identified and fitted with ANPR cameras, on the Hume Freeway at Wallan, Calder Freeway at Gisbourne, Western Freeway at Ballan, Goulburn Valley Freeway at Murchison and the Princess Freeway at Yarragon.
Each camera site costs between $200,000 and $800,000 to establish, depending on what infrastructure, power, communications and security facilities are already in place.

QLD Govt joins National Rail Safety Regulator

On 1 July, Queensland joined the regulatory fold of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), with the newest branch office officially opening its doors on Monday, 3 July.
The Queensland branch delivers the final piece of the ONRSR puzzle, with the Brisbane office joining National Office and Central Branch (Adelaide) and the New South Wales (Sydney), Western Australia (Perth) and Victorian (Melbourne) branches.
ONRSR CEO and National Rail Safety Regulator, Sue McCarrey, said the establishment of jurisdiction in Queensland is a fantastic result and the culmination of a lot of hard work over many years.
“This is a great milestone for ONRSR and those that have been involved in the national reform to bring about a single national rail safety regulator…1 July marks the point when we will have responsibility for rail safety regulation in every Australian state and territory,” said McCarrey.
The establishment of the new office is the culmination of collaboration between the ONRSR and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), particularly those within the TMR Rail Regulation Unit.
Many of those within the new branch are joining from the Rail Regulation Unit and bring with them experience and local knowledge.
Leading the new team will be Mark Fernan, who was recently appointed to the role of Queensland Branch Director. He previously worked with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
With more than one third of accredited rail operators in Australia conducting their operations in more than one state, ONRSR provides a more national consistency in regulatory approach than what was achievable with separate states’ previously unique rail safety legislation.
Under the national transport reform agenda, with the ONRSR having assumed regulatory responsibility in Queensland from 12:01 on 1 July, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has taken on the role of national rail investigator in that state.
The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) congratulated the Queensland Government, noting that it joining was an important step in the establishment of a national rail safety regulator, something the rail industry has called for over the past decade.
“It is great for industry to have ONRSR as the rail safety regulator in all Australian states and territories,” said Danny Broad, CEO, ARA.

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