A strong economy would utilise and enhance Australia's existing freight capacity

Published: 9th May 2018


Media Release

Wednesday, 9 May 2018


Ports Australia is encouraged to see continued spending on infrastructure in the 2018 Budget but stresses that a stronger economy and more livable cities requires a balanced freight network being used to its potential.

Ports Australia CEO, Mike Gallacher, said, “There are a number of good measures in the budget being directly spent improving the supply chain to our country’s Ports and accordingly our economy.”

“These include $400m to the Port Botany freight line duplication, $14.2m towards the Port Melbourne rail shuttle, $2m to duplicate the Tourle Street Bridge in Newcastle and $2m towards planning for Gladstone’s Port access road.”

“The rolling $75 billion infrastructure spend needs to address areas of inefficiencies in the supply chain but we can also increase efficiencies without spending taxpayer dollars which is why the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy is crucial.”

“To manage the future freight task Government must also consider the current untapped capacity of the network and to use that effectively.”  “Container freight alone is predicted to grow by 165% by 2030 outstripping population growth.” “The Federal Government’s Inquiry into the National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities identified that while the freight task is projected to double in the next 20 years, even with extra investment, Australian transport infrastructure will be unable to meet this demand.”

“Legislative changes, like reforming coastal shipping regulations, will instantly add capacity to our supply chain free of charge and unlock capacity already at our Ports.”

“Increasing coastal shipping will create jobs in regional Australia, help alleviate congestion through our cities, breathe life into the shipping and ship building industry and increase skills in the maritime industry essential for an island nation and it’s strategic naval security.”

“Improving the efficiency and capacity in and out of the port will directly impact the congestion of cities, more liveable cities need better connected Ports.”

“Congestion costs the economy $16 billion a year, a holistic approach to freight can reduce congestion much more effectively than a $1 billion Band-Aid on road bottlenecks.”

“By leveraging the capacity that exists within all Ports and supply chains and by designing national solutions to the incoming freight challenge we can make huge gains in our ability to handle the freight task without costing the tax payer.”

 “Similarly reducing the regulatory cost around channel maintenance will allow Ports to create capacity for the next generation of larger ships bound for our shores.”

“The country’s freight task begins and ends at the Port, handling 98% of all trade, so any efficiencies made to the way they operate or their connectivity to the wider supply chain is a huge benefit to the rest of the country,” Mike Gallacher concluded.


 Media: Michael Fairbairn 0448 524 731

Ports Australia is the peak industry body representing port authorities and corporations, both publicly and privately owned, at the national level.

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