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Universities undertake northern supply chain study

July 18, 2019

 

Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute and James Cook University are conducting a joint study aimed at improving the efficiency of Northern Australia’s agricultural supply chains and freight networks.

The Reframing Northern Australia Supply Chains Study, which is part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) project, will examine current supply chains across Northern Australia with a view to develop more efficient, effective, smart and agile models that will reframe the way goods are moved around the north and to Asian customers.

CRCNA Chair Sheriden Morris says that efficient supply chains are fundamental to the improvement of competitiveness, prosperity, productivity and sustainability of northern Australia.

“This project will provide a renewed examination and reframing of supply chains – how they work and how they could work better,” she said.

“We all know we can grow high-value agricultural crops in the north, and that we can rear quality cattle and that our seafood is some of the best in the world, but unless we can get our products to market in a consistent, cost-effective and timely way, we will continue to give away our competitive advantage, stifling development and growth.”

“The CRCNA is committed to working with industry, researchers and government to resolve issues associated with expensive and inefficient supply chains across the north.

“Each of these projects will come together to enable the CRCNA to build an evidence-base to inform budgetary, investment and infrastructure planning which supports smart and agile supply chain development for northern Australia, to the benefit of all producers and agribusinesses.”

Northern Institute’s Associate Professor in Northern Australian Development, Pascal Tremblay says a final report would outline major potential policy reforms needed to support effective supply chains in Northern Australia.

“Our integrated approach will deliver a framework to support longer-term collaborative planning and implementation of supply chain initiatives into the future, across agencies, across industries and across jurisdictional governments,” he said.

Project lead, JCU Professor Hurriyet Babacan says her research team will bring together stakeholders from Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia to develop a comprehensive roadmap for future planning and investment.

“Round table sessions, to be held early 2020, will involve a diverse mix of stakeholders sharing knowledge and learning from each other with the view to form a community of best practice,” she said.

“Researchers and supply chain experts from other Australian universities will also be part of these discussions, with the aim of building capacity and critical analysis skills in this area over the longer-term.”

The final report is expected to be released by mid-2020.

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