Snapshots across the nation

Australian Government

The Australian Government continues to deliver on its commitments under the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. In response to COVID-19, the Australian Government has worked closely with industry, regulator, state, territory and local governments to facilitate the ongoing movement of freight into, out of and around Australia while lockdowns and border closures are in place. This includes actions from negotiating border permits for essential freight and transport workers to the unprecedented International Freight Assistance Mechanism.

The Government is also adapting ongoing programs to address recent natural disaster and COVID-19 impacts, such as fast tracking major transport infrastructure projects and designing a Mobile Blackspots Program round to target mobile connectivity along major transport corridors and in disaster-prone regions.

While working to support industry’s immediate needs arising from COVID-19, the Government continues to progress longer- term reform priorities. Actions ranging from heavy vehicle road reform, implementing the National Rail Action Plan, reviewing the Heavy Vehicle National Law, designing a freight data hub and benchmarking our supply chains against international competitors will help place Australia in good stead to recover and thrive in the post-COVID world.

www.infrastructure.gov.au

New South Wales

The New South Wales (NSW) Government continues to progress initiatives outlined under the NSW Freight and Ports Plan (2019-2023). Key highlights for 2019-20 include:

  • Transport for NSW (TfNSW) continues to build on the Freight Data Hub launched in 2019, with ongoing dialogue across road, rail, ports and air freight stakeholders to facilitate greater sharing of data to provide benefits across supply chains. This includes the movement of rail freight to ports and a better understanding of the evolving land use needs of the freight industry. NSW is also working to improve access to data to interrogate daily freight movements and the performance across its networks and around critical trade hubs for freight.
  • The first stage of the Western Sydney Freight Line has been preserved as one of three new transport links to the Western Parkland City to Western NSW. This will protect the corridor for a dedicated freight line between the future Outer Sydney Orbital at Luddenham, through to the M7 at Horsley Park. Stage 2 of the Western Sydney Freight Line is currently under investigation and will be identified to provide a link to the Southern Sydney Freight Line and Port Botany. Once completed, the Western Sydney Freight Line will provide a dedicated and direct rail link all the way from St Marys near the foothills of the Blue Mountains all the way to Port Botany. More information can be found via: www.transport.nsw.gov.au/corridors.
  • The NSW Government has rezoned the Mamre Road precinct, protecting the site of an intermodal terminal near the Western Sydney Freight Line. This gives TfNSW concurrence rights for the private haul road (or automated guided vehicle) network in the precinct, supports development in Western Sydney, addresses landside issues at Port Botany and will enable future rail mode share targets to be met. This planning decision was accelerated in response to COVID-19.
  • The impacts of COVID-19 on the efficient movement of goods created the need for a specific freight focus as part of the NSW Government response. Support to the freight and logistics network was increased by enabling increased higher productivity vehicles access to improve road freight efficiency, prioritisation of rail freight services on the Sydney Trains network, negotiation of exemptions to Maritime Quarantine Order for essential activities at ports in NSW, and the exploration of opportunities for exporting high value NSW produce by air and ensuring the air freight sector is recognised for its role in the import of urgent medical supplies for NSW. As part of the NSW Government’s response to COVID-19, a number of deliverables in the NSW Freight and Ports Plan have been accelerated, including the rezoning of Mamre Road as well as the acceleration of safety initiatives such as the resurfacing of the Kings Highway and Snowy Mountains Highway to support our bushfire-affected communities.

www.transport.nsw.gov.au

Victoria

Significant progress has been made through 2019-20 on delivering the Victorian Implementation Plan. In January, the Port of Melbourne announced the on-dock rail project. Positive progress continues to be made on the Port Rail Shuttle Network. In the commercial ports space, the Department of Transport (the Department) has completed the Port Pricing and Access Review, which investigated options for the future role of government in regulating pricing/charges, and access to and from the Port of Melbourne. Following the recommendations of the review, the Victorian Government will introduce a Port of Melbourne Voluntary Port Performance Model. This will comprise of a Voluntary Pricing Protocol which provides guidance for stevedores to notify the Department and industry of impending price changes and the development of a Voluntary Performance Monitoring Framework to report on a range of meaningful metrics on performance of the landside supply chain at the Port of Melbourne.

Significant progress has been made through 2019-20 on delivering the Victorian Implementation Plan. In January, the Port of Melbourne announced the on-dock rail project. Positive progress continues to be made on the Port Rail Shuttle Network. In the commercial ports space, the Department of Transport (the Department) has completed the Port Pricing and Access Review, which investigated options for the future role of government in regulating pricing/charges, and access to and from the Port of Melbourne. Following the recommendations of the review, the Victorian Government will introduce a Port of Melbourne Voluntary Port Performance Model. This will comprise of a Voluntary Pricing Protocol which provides guidance for stevedores to notify the Department and industry of impending price changes and the development of a Voluntary Performance Monitoring Framework to report on a range of meaningful metrics on performance of the landside supply chain at the Port of Melbourne.

While Victoria did not close its borders during the pandemic, the Victorian Government worked very closely with other states and territories as well as the transport and logistics industry to ensure consistency of requirements for essential freight workers where border controls were in place.

With workforce reductions in the distribution and warehousing areas, the Victorian Government has established a dedicated Industry Coordination Centre set up within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) to support businesses and to determine if and how businesses can could safely operate under Stage 4 restrictions. Significant work was undertaken in partnership with DJPR (responsible for supply chain management throughout the pandemic) to ensure limited movement of people across these industries.

To maintain the safe movement of freight in commercial ports during COVID-19, the Department helped secure personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and negotiated the ability of ships to exchange crews. Safety and operational risks were assessed through a working group on Maritime Border Entry Coordination. This working group was chaired by DHHS, with members from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the Department and Port operators.

www.transport.vic.gov.au

Queensland

Queensland’s Transport and Roads Investment Program (2019–20 to 2022–23) underpins the State’s strategic direction for freight, and includes $23 billion of works over the coming four years. Around $14.5 billion of this funding is allocated to projects in regional Queensland, with communities benefiting from both tailored investment in the transport network and the continued development of Regional Transport Plans. In late 2019-20, the Queensland Government and Australian Government announced over $1 billion in road infrastructure stimulus works, a $400 million state funded package, a $415 million jointly- funded package, and $185 million in early works as part of the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative.

As a key strategic link in the National Land Transport Network, the Toowoomba Bypass plays a key role in accelerating the growth of regional Australia. With almost half of all exports from the Port of Brisbane originating from regions accessed via the existing Warrego Highway Toowoomba Range section, the Toowoomba bypass is designed and built to accommodate larger heavy and high productivity vehicles, resulting in increased freight efficiencies and significant cost savings for operators along this key regional freight route.

The Queensland Freight Strategy (QFS - released 2019) and Queensland Freight Action Plan (QFAP - under development) are Queensland’s key mechanisms for delivery of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. The QFAP’s two-year rolling program of actions have been developed to implement the shared stakeholder commitments and critical enablers outlined in the QFS. With the advent of COVID-19, the QFAP has been revised to reflect freight and supply chain disruptions and include deliverables supporting the Queensland Government’s economic recovery plan. Regular Queensland Ministerial Freight Council teleconferences have also been held and continue to be an important part of Queensland’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

www.tmr.qld.gov.au

South Australia

South Australia remains focused on supporting improved supply chain efficiency through the delivery of increased levels of High Productivity Vehicle access and the delivery of targeted road infrastructure investment. Highlights included the development of a 30 metre road train network and reaching agreement with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the Local Government Association of South Australia to co-fund a Heavy Vehicle Access Liaison Officer to deliver proactive approaches to heavy vehicle access matters. The role will be filled in July 2020 and will assist local government road managers in performing their functions under the Heavy Vehicle National Law in the facilitation of heavy vehicle access whilst protecting investment in public infrastructure.

Flinders Ports completed an $80 million channel widening project, receiving the first Post – Panamax container ship at Outer Harbour in November 2019. T-Ports Lucky Bay bulk transhipment facility commenced commissioning in March 2020, supporting new landside infrastructure and activating a new export pathway for Eyre Peninsula grain producers.

www.dpti.sa.gov.au

Western Australia

Western Australia (WA) continues to implement actions relating to the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy and to ensure the State’s unique location and operational freight transport environment are considered at a national level. In 2019-20, the WA Government continued to engage with industry to improve freight supply chain outcomes. This included working with industry to develop two regional freight strategies aimed at improving freight efficiencies and progressing an investigation into the location of a new container port.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WA Government has been working with industry to keep freight supply chains moving and to carefully manage all critical international and domestic access points to WA. The challenges brought about by the COVID -19 pandemic led to reprioritisation of effort in relation to implementing the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy actions, with some of the local actions being deferred and new actions introduced.

One of the new projects was the creation of a Supply Chain Intelligence Data Hub (the Hub) by Fremantle Port Authority to capture trade and supply chain information. In addition, the Western Australia and Federal Governments have invested $223 million in road construction projects, including on critical freight routes such as the Bussell Highway, Great Eastern Highway and Toodyay Road.

www.transport.wa.gov.au

Tasmania

The Tasmanian Government has commenced detailed planning to deliver a new Bridgewater Bridge. The Bridgewater Bridge is part of the key Burnie to Hobart Freight Corridor, providing a critical freight link between southern Tasmania and northern regions, and within the Greater Hobart metropolitan region. The $576 million project represents the single largest investment in a transport project in Tasmania’s history.

The Government also continues to deliver upgrades to the key Burnie to Hobart Freight Corridor to improve efficiency and safety. Key initiatives include early completion of the Perth Links Road, part of the Midland Highway 10 Year Action Plan, which has improved travel times and efficiency for heavy vehicles travelling between the north west and southern regions and ongoing investment under Tranche Two of the Tasmanian Rail Revitalisation Project, contributing to fewer safety issues and reduced maintenance costs.

COVID-19 has highlighted the value of government, industry and business working together to better understand and respond to freight challenges. The crisis has brought key stakeholders from the freight industry together, with government, to develop effective strategies to respond to the challenges of COVID-19, including securing sea and air freight links to national and international markets.

www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au

Northern Territory

In June 2020, the NT Government has released the Territory-Wide Logistics Master Plan 2020. The Master Plan provides the Northern Territory Government’s vision for the transport and logistics sector — a safe, reliable and efficient freight and logistics network, which underpins and drives the Territory’s future economic and social development. The purpose of the Master Plan is to facilitate increasing freight and logistics connections and capacity that capture both international and domestic trade for the Territory.

53 actions have been identified to address the following priority areas for the Northern Territory:

  • Targeted Infrastructure Investment;
  • Integrated Logistics and Land Use Planning;
  • Supply Chain Positioning; and
  • Regulation and Safety Improvements.

These actions will ensure that the Northern Territory can deliver resilient freight and logistics networks through long-term infrastructure planning and investment, and provide an evidence base for policy and regulatory framework development.

The Master Plan complements and forms the Northern Territory’s Implementation plan under the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

www.dipl.nt.gov.au

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT Government continues to invest significantly in transport infrastructure that is well planned and carefully delivered to meet core service delivery needs, support our ongoing economic growth, and drive Canberra’s transition to a zero emissions future. These major infrastructure projects support an efficient, safe and sustainable freight network and services for a growing ACT and regional economy.

The ACT has become the regional services hub for some of the fastest growing communities in south east NSW and gains considerable economic and community benefits from being part of it. To harness the region’s growth potential, the ACT Government has established productive cross border working arrangements with the NSW Government and Canberra Region Joint Organisation local councils. While strengthening connectivity between regional producers and the Canberra Airport as a national and international freight hub is among our top priorities, investing in and protecting our key freight corridors such as the Monaro and Barton Highways is equally important to ensure a resilient and effective road transport system, especially during the pandemic.

www.act.gov.au