The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that population and economic growth in Australia will increase demand for freight transport, with the national land freight task expected to increase by 86% over the 15 years to 2031.
While there has been significant work undertaken on national strategies for land transport and ports in the past, this work needs to be further progressed, taking a whole-of-supply chain perspective. National-level, long-term freight master planning will facilitate more effective infrastructure planning, and more robust investment decisions in the freight and supply chain sector. Failure to adequately cater for the expected increase in freight transport will increase freight network congestion around Australia and, ultimately, harm national productivity.
On 18 May 2018, the Council of Australian Governments’ Transport and Infrastructure Council agreed to a framework for developing a 20-year national Freight and Supply Chain Strategy (the Strategy). The Strategy will provide the appropriate framework to support end-to-end planning of key freight and supply chains, to:
- guide future investment
- support better use of existing infrastructure assets
- enable a program of regulatory reforms and capital initiatives to be developed.
In 2017, the Australian Government commenced the development of the Strategy with an inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities. This inquiry’s report was released in May 2018. The Strategy development is building on the outcomes of this inquiry, the National Ports Strategy, National Land Freight Strategy and other strategies such as those within states and territories. The Strategy will determine the best options to lift the productivity and efficiency of Australia’s freight supply chain.
Appendix C provides a list of submissions received by Infrastructure Australia in relation to this program initiative.
The Strategy is due to be completed in 2019.