17 June 2011
Over 60 submissions have been received in response to Infrastructure Australia's proposal to establish a national land freight network, as part of a land freight strategy.
The freight network would be tightly defined and include sea ports and airports. It would address issues such as interoperability between infrastructure networks, the integration of freight and land use planning and capacity for growth across Australia.
Considerable interest has been shown by a wide variety of stakeholders in the idea of a land freight strategy. Although some jurisdictions are working towards state freight networks, the proposal to adopt a national strategy for Australia is a first.
A national land freight network will reduce congestion and provide opportunities for investment.
A national network servicing high productivity freight vehicles would have an immediate productivity pay-off, reduce the number of vehicle movements, and have positive impacts on energy consumption, emissions and overall amenity.
A national network would be a starting point, for full integration of freight policies including those in the national ports strategy and for shipping. These policies would be placed in the context of consideration of other important national reforms such as city planning, taxation and infrastructure financing.
The national land freight strategy is expected to be considered by the Council of Australian Governments within the next twelve months.
Michael Deegan, National Infrastructure Coordinator
Ph: 02 8114 1900