Terms of Reference

The purpose of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy Implementation Industry Reference Panel is to monitor progress in implementing the Strategy.


The primary objective of the Reference Panel is to:

  • Monitor (line of sight) and provide independent advice on the progress of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy and National Action Plan’s delivery.

Secondary objectives of the Reference Panel are to:

  • Provide feedback and advice on national issues identified by transport and infrastructure ministers and senior officials.
  • Encourage industry sponsorship for actions under the Action Plan.
  • Comment on other priorities for freight at the request of ministers or senior officials.

The Reference Panel is not a decision-making body.


The Reference Panel will consist of a Chair and three-five additional members appointed by the Australian Government Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development on behalf of the Transport and Infrastructure Council. The Chair and members will be appointed for a period of between one and two years.

All membership nominees must be able to demonstrate:

  • An ability to represent a broad range of views that reflect the diversity of the industry (e.g. freight owners, logistics, planners, etc);
  • A willingness to make contributions in good faith and in the national interest;
  • A capacity to commit to the Advisory Panel for the duration of the appointment; and
  • A commitment to actively support the successful achievement of the Strategy’s objectives.

The Reference Panel is not intended to be a representative body that can speak on behalf of industry.


Secretariat support for the Reference Panel will be provided by the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. Members of the Reference Panel will receive a daily remuneration fee in line with rates set out by the Remuneration Tribunal for similar bodies. Costs for attending meetings will be covered by the Department.

Operation of the Reference Panel

  • The Reference Panel will meet up to three times a year at times/locations to be agreed between the Chair and Members. Where possible, these meetings are to be held in advance of TISOC meetings to allow outcomes to be reported to Council.
  • Out-of-session meetings may be held with the agreement of the Chair and Members.
  • A quorum will consist of at least three representatives of the Reference Panel.
  • The Secretariat will agree on an agenda with the Chair prior to meetings. Meeting papers will be provided to the Reference Panel no less than ten days prior to meetings. Actions from meetings will be circulated no later than five days following meetings.
  • It is anticipated that the Reference Panel will provide independent advice to Council on the delivery of the Strategy’s goals during the annual reporting cycle.
  • This advice will be provided to Council through the Freight Jurisdictional Working Group.

Relationship with other relevant bodies

  • The Reference Panel will provide independent advice to support the delivery of the Strategy and a national approach to planning for freight.
  • The Reference Panel will complement and not replace other industry reference groups or industry engagement mechanisms. This includes those established for specific projects overseen by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments or Council.
  • The Reference Panel’s representatives may be invited to attend Council/TISOC meetings in an observer capacity to provide feedback and advice.
  • The Reference Panel will report to Council through the Freight Jurisdictional Working Group. The Working Group will not amend the Reference Panel’s independent advice but may consider and prepare separate advice to accompany the Advisory Panel’s to TISOC and Council.

Terms of Reference and Review

The Terms of Reference for the Reference Panel were finalised at the first meeting of the Advisory Panel and will be reviewed two years after endorsement. The Reference Panel’s Terms of Reference will be informed by a Ministerial Statement of Expectations agreed by Council every two years.