Freight Outlook

Governments at all levels will continue to work together and with industry to keep freight moving.

National consistency in freight access will be critical and, where COVID-19 hotspots may emerge, all parties will need to be on the same page to balance safety of both the workforce and broader community while ensuring critical supplies continue to move freely.

Another key focus will be on improving data under Action Area 4 of the Strategy. Better freight location and performance data is critical for governments and industry to know when and how to act. It informs immediate interventions, but is in itself a long-term commitment. It is likely to take years to build a solid, consistent data baseline from which to measure, but the first steps have been taken in designing the Freight Data Hub and this work will continue.

COVID-19 recovery will take time. It will be our nation’s supply chains that underpin our recovery, both physically and economically. Supply chains will again be front and centre when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, as the vaccine is delivered across the nation, and it will be our supply chains that will help our economy recover and make it stronger than ever.

Looking ahead over the coming year...

Smarter and targeted infrastructure investment

  • The business case for a Melbourne Inland Rail terminal will be completed.
  • Construction will be underway, or projects completed, across half of the 26 Roads of Strategic Importance corridors.
  • Major construction works for North East Link will have started.
  • The Western Australia’s Kwinana Northbound smarter freeway will be operational.
  • Construction for the Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail will be completed and construction for the Narrabri to North Star section started.
  • Construction of the NT Airport’s cold storage, freight and training facility will be completed.
  • The Tasmanian Great Eastern Drive Mobile Coverage Program, which involves the construction of 15 greenfield macro base stations, will be completed.
  • The Ports Management Strategy for Norfolk Island will be completed.

Enable improved supply chain efficiency

  • The first assessment under the National Hydrogen Strategy will have commenced.
  • The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will have launched its Fatigue Monitoring pilot program of work.
  • The iMove CRC research project to accelerate uptake of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (known as C-ITS) will be complete.
  • The Hydrogen Refuelling Station at the Queensland University of Technology Kelvin Grove campus, Brisbane, will be operational.

Better planning, regulation and coordination

  • The Western Sydney Aerotropolis Planning Package, along with the precinct plans, will be in place.
  • The Preliminary Evaluation of the Port of Brisbane Rail Access Corridor Preservation will be released.
  • The Australian Transport Assessment and Planning Urban Freight Modelling Guidelines will be finalised.
  • Public forums will be held to assist the development of National Urban Freight Planning Principles.
  • Queensland will undertake a state-wide freight strategy.
  • The Productivity Commission report on transport regulatory reforms will be made public.

Better freight location and performance data

  • The National Transport Commission will have published a policy paper containing recommendations around frameworks for collection and use of C-ITS and automated vehicle data.
  • The Western Australia Commercial Vehicle Survey will have commenced.
  • The National Freight Data Hub detailed business case will be prepared for Government consideration and a prototype Hub website will showcase important and improved freight data, insights and projects.
  • Phase two of the international supply chain benchmarking project.