The National Transport Commission (NTC) released a statement outlining a range of projects designed to boost transport networks, in a bid to boost overall productivity.
The announcement comes in the wake of Australia’s transport ministers approving a new work program last week, and the commission will seek to identify ways to deliver quicker and cheaper road, rail and inter-modal networks with a particular focus on the nation’s freight and logistics industry.
“A growing economy needs more productive transport networks and these projects will help us find new ways of getting goods to market more efficiently” said Michelle Hendy, Acting CEO of the NTC.”
“The latest statistics show that Australia’s transport, postal and warehousing industry’s productivity declined by 3.3 per cent in the past year. Yet, our freight task is expected to increase by 80 per cent between 2010 and 2030 and triple by 2050, with truck traffic alone predicted to increase by around 50 per cent to 2030.”
“Making it easier for high productivity trucks to access our roads which will reduce heavy vehicle trips, transport emissions, fatalities and road wear.”
The NTC will coordinate tried and tested initiatives with local and state governments, whilst looking to increase load volumes for high-productivity trucks, as well as precisely when weight can be carried safely.
There has also been a renewed commitment to completing projects the NTC has already started, such as the heavy vehicle road-worthiness program, while also citing several proposed reform areas, including identifying any regulatory or operational barriers to automated vehicles.
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) CEO Christopher Melham was pleased with the focus on productivity, and hoped it would help the trucking industry address the growing freight demand in the safest and most efficient way possible.
“The national freight task is expected to grow by 80 per cent between 2011 and 2031, with the trucking industry handling a large part of this extra freight.” he said.
“Last week’s Australian Infrastructure Audit Report warned that governments must focus on policy reforms to improve higher productivity vehicle use and the performance of highway infrastructure.”
“It’s fantastic to see the NTC taking this advice seriously.”
However, Mr Melham was quick to underscore that the ATA urges the NTC to increase its focus on delivering much-needed productivity improvements in the short term, such as increasing the steer axle mass limit, the use of ultra-wide tyres, recognition of third party heavy vehicle safety accreditation and the handling of 45 foot containers.