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June 1, 2017

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has called for submissions on the discussion paper for the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities.

The call comes in the wake of the Australian Government’s announcement of a record $75 billion infrastructure investment program that includes two of the largest infrastructure projects – the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail and the Western Sydney Airport.

“Feedback on the discussion paper will help the inquiry examine how our investment in the freight network can boost the nation’s prosperity and meet community expectations for safety, security and environmental amenity,” Mr Chester said.

“It will also further our understanding of what challenges and opportunities lie ahead, and how we can take advantage of them.
The Minister says the government wants to hear directly from key freight stakeholders such as carriers, shippers, forwarders, primary producers and land developers, as well as consumers.

All part of supply chain

“Everybody is part of the national supply chain, whether you are a consumer, business-owner, producer, farmer or freight operator,” he said.

It is anticipated that the number of freight movements will increase rapidly as Australia’s population grows to approximately 30 million people by 2030, and demand from markets in Asia and abroad places added strain on our current supply chain networks.

Mr Chester says these pressures will inevitably require additional reform and investment to ensure Australia remains globally competitive and can access the goods we require at the lowest cost.

“What this Inquiry will do is examine how to meet these challenges, allowing us to remain prosperous well into the 21st century.

“With submissions closing on 28 July 2017, I would encourage all interested parties to consider their needs and contribute to the conversation,” Mr Chester said.

Safety focus as industry grows

If the Minister’s predictions are true, and freight movements continue to grow, the role of safety in the industry will become increasingly important, because safe companies are productive companies.

Lost productivity due to accidents, incidents, injuries and even fatalities could see some companies go to the wall.

Are you doing everything within your power to ensure that your business is meeting its safety obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL)?

And what of the other businesses you rely on in your supply chain?
Your Chain of Responsibility (CoR) obligations stipulate that your company and its business practices must not encourage transport drivers to speed or break fatigue laws, or allow overloaded vehicles or trucks with poorly restrained loads to travel on our roads. These same rules apply to other companies in the supply chain, and part of your responsibility is to ensure that they also ‘play by the rules’.

Even if you are aware of the laws, are you able to put in place a strategy to meet those demands?

You need the CoR Adviser monthly newsletter, written in plain English by the transport lawyers at Holding Redlich, to help you fulfil your CoR obligations because penalties for breaches of the law are increasing to up to $3 million shortly.

Don’t delay. Find out what you need to know to protect you and your business from HVNL breaches by subscribing to CoR Adviser today.

You’ll quickly understand how it can help to simplify your business.

For more details on how to make a submission on the government’s discussion paper, click here.