Coalition government's Freight and Supply chain strategy for Australia

Media Release

DC199/2016

24 November 2016

The Turnbull-Joyce Government today announced it will develop a freight and supply chain strategy for Australia's future, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said.

“Australia's freight demands are expected to grow by nearly 50 per cent between 2015 and 2030, and this strategy will assess the increasing demand for improved infrastructure networks as demand for products increase domestically and internationally,” Mr Chester said.

“The Australian Government has built a powerful network of free trade agreements with our major export and import partners.

“It is critical that Australian businesses are able to maximise the economic benefits of these agreements in terms of trade in goods and services.

“The Australian community relies on safe and efficient transport services and the building of infrastructure capacity for the future to fully capture the benefits of trade and to sustain Australia's prosperity.

“The Turnbull-Joyce Government is focussed on increasing freight and supply chain productivity and investing in the growth of the Australian economy through projects such as the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project.

“We want to set the right environment for investment to occur, for businesses to remain competitive as they seek to minimise costs, and to create new jobs and a better transport network for decades to come.

“This strategy is in response to Infrastructure Australia's Australian Infrastructure Plan, and will be informed by the establishment of a comprehensive, independent inquiry to determine how we can best lift the productivity and efficiency of Australia's freight supply chain.

“The inquiry will examine regulatory and investment barriers as well as opportunities to improve freight capacity and reduce business costs. Once complete in December 2017, the inquiry will allow us to develop a comprehensive national freight and supply chain strategy that articulates areas of reform and investment in Australia,” Mr Chester said.

The inquiry will draw on data generated through government agencies such as the ABS, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, and our $75 million investment in CSIRO's Data61, as well as the work of the Transport and Infrastructure Council's Heavy Vehicle Road Reform work program.

The national freight and supply chain strategy is a key recommendation of Infrastructure Australia, and will build on the existing work of COAG, including the National Land Freight Strategy agreed to in 2013, and the 2012 National Port Strategy.