This background paper, prepared for Infrastructure Australia by Allen Consulting, is intended to inform development of a national freight network strategy for Australia.
The paper draws upon a range of documents, sources and strategies by Australian governments and stakeholders and also examines the approach taken to freight strategic planning in a range of overseas jurisdictions.
The paper contends that Australia's freight task is constrained by a number of factors, including transport policy and regulation, freight regulatory issues and data measurement and analysis, and that there is no framework to guide freight-related decision-making in accordance with clearly defined, national objectives.
The report examines the case for a strategy; potential definitions of the national freight network; a possible vision, objectives and principles; and a method for identifying priorities and governance arrangements. It identifies six principles to guide the development of the strategy and proposes three objectives that should underpin it. It also proposes steps required to progress the development of the strategy.