Industry to help lift freight strategy ambition

The Australian Government has announced the membership of a new Freight Industry Reference Panel on behalf of the Transport and Infrastructure Council.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the recent combination of natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important our supply chains are to maintaining our way of life for Australians.

“The National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, developed by all Australian Governments with extensive input from industry, lays out a 20-year plan showing how Governments and industry will work together to lift our freight networks’ performance,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The new Panel will provide industry a clear line of sight on implementation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy and annually report to Transport and Infrastructure Ministers its independent view on progress made.

“Considering the importance of the Panel in ratcheting up ambition on the Strategy, I am pleased the Panel has attracted individuals highly respected by government, industry and the community alike.”

Panel membership is comprised of:

  • Mr John Fullerton, Chair
  • Ms Nicole Lockwood
  • Ms Sophie Finemore
  • Mr Peter Garske
  • Mr Brett Charlton

“Mr Fullerton has over 35 years’ experience in the transport industry across Australia. From 2011 to 2020, he was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Rail Track Corporation; the owner and operator of Australia’s largest rail freight network.

“Mr Fullerton is a leading figure in Australia’s infrastructure and transport industry and consistently promotes the value of rail and freight supply chains to the national economy.

“Ms Lockwood’s background in infrastructure, economic development and community engagement provides her with a unique insight into the complexity of infrastructure, planning and regional development.

“She is the chair of the Westport Taskforce Steering Committee and serves on the board of Infrastructure WA.

“As a member of the Expert Panel which led the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities in 2017 and 2018, Ms Lockwood is uniquely placed to bring both continuity and fresh perspectives in overseeing the Strategy.

“Ms Finemore’s practical experience in navigating supply chain issues in her role with the Toll Group and her recent involvement in transport market reform will make her a valued member of the Panel.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Panel would be tasked with delivering practical outcomes for industry.

“Having been involved in the freight industry for many years, I’m pleased to see this the establishment of the Panel with such highly respected members,” Mr Buchholz said.

“Mr Garske will bring his extensive experience in the heavy vehicle industry to the Panel having served as a board member of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, among many other industry committees and policy groups.

“He recognises the importance of the trucking industry and the cross-border freight task to the economic wellbeing of Australia.

“Mr Charlton has been involved in international logistics for over quarter of a century. He has vast experience in advocacy on freight and logistics policy matters both at home and abroad and is the current Chairman of the Tasmanian Logistics Committee.

“As an island nation, maritime freight will always be front and centre in our trade environment. Mr Charlton’s experience with ports, shipping lines, logistics consulting and freight forwarding will be an invaluable contribution to the Panel.

“The panel will act as a lever to elicit more actions from all levels of government and industry to ensure best practice and better outcomes for all.

“I welcome the Panel members and wish them the best as they embark on their important task of working closely with industry on the implementation of the Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.”

Media Contact:

Deputy Prime Minister – Tess Salmon 0467 740 017

Mr Buchholz – Scott O’Connell 0413 424 384