The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomes the investments in the National Freight Data Hub and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator announced in Tuesday’s budget.
The Government proposes to provide $28.6 million over the forward estimates period ($10.6m this financial year) to ‘establish a National Freight Data Hub’ to enhance the collection of freight data across all modes to:
- support day to day operations;
- improve infrastructure and transport investment and other decisions; and
- enable end-to-end performance evaluation for Australia’s freight system.
$12.1m over three years will also be provided to the Heavy Vehicle National Regulator to fund engineering assessments for local government-owned road network infrastructure.
These investments are the two expenditures contained in the Budget to advance the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
ALC CEO Mr Kirk Coningham said that assisting the Government in developing a Freight Data Hub that enhances freight chain productivity is an ALC priority.
Mr Coningham said ‘the capital injection provided to the Data Hub project in tonight’s Budget gives industry the confidence that the Government is committed to developing a system that will assist the efficient movement of freight from one end of the supply chain to the other. ALC stands ready to assist bringing this project to fruition.’
‘The investment in the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is also important. Funding engineering assessments of local government road infrastructure will assist road owners to make the right decision when considering requests for road access by heavy vehicles rather than making conservative decisions denying access so as to protect the infrastructure from damage’.
ALC also welcomed the investment of $61.8m for the planning and development of the Melbourne Intermodal terminal, and a commitment of ‘up to’ $2 billion for its subsequent construction.
However, the Budget Papers say that ‘specific funding arrangements, including an option for equity investment (with an equivalent contribution from the Victorian Government) will be settled at a later date’.
Mr Conningham said that ALC hoped that funding arrangements can be finalised as soon as possible so that this important infrastructure can be developed to support the movement of freight in Victoria and the efficient operation of the Inland Rail that is currently being developed.