PORT and logistics groups have welcomed the establishment of Freight Victoria, a new entity set up to help manage the state’s increasing freight task.
The new entity was announced by ports minister Luke Donnellan and public transport minister Jacinta Allen as part of the Delivering the Goods document.
According to the government, Freight Victoria is to drive and coordinate the delivery of the Victorian Freight Plan, providing a central point of contact and consultation with the private sector.
A government spokesperson confirmed Freight Victoria would be led by CEO Garry Button would be an office within Transport for Victoria.
The team is to be staffed by the existing entity Transport for Victoria. Transport for Victoria is a division of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and infrastructure.
Freight Victoria is an office of the state’s transport co-ordinating division, Transport for Victoria. Freight Victoria brings together existing freight, ports and intermodal teams to foster collaboration and integrated decision making, positioning the government to meet the transport challenges facing Victoria. Transport for Victoria is a division of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and infrastructure.
“We have established Freight Victoria as a single point of contact, a one-stop-shop for primary producers, the freight and logistics industry and local government to contact for information and assistance,” Minister Jacinta Allen said.
Port of Melbourne chief executive Brendan Bourke was among those to welcome the announcement.
“The Port of Melbourne is pleased that the strategy outlines a number of positive initiatives which recognise the important contribution of the freight sector to the state’s economy,” Mr Bourke said.
“As private manager of the port, the Port of Melbourne looks forward to working with Freight Victoria and industry to grow the port and ensure a competitive supply chain.
“Freight is a fundamental component of the Victorian economy and by working together we can enhance the competitive position of Victoria”
Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson said the establishment of Freight Victoria would help deliver long-term economic prosperity.
“Freight Victoria and the plan it is tasked with delivering is about much more than just freight,” Mr Anderson said.
“It is about creating greater efficiency and productivity in supply chains which impacts every part of the economy and is fundamental for job creation and growth, which is what we need to be prosperous,” he said.
“With so many things happening in our industry from a regulatory, legislative and infrastructure perspective, it has never been more important that the unique needs of operators are factored early on in decisions being made.”
Mr Anderson said the emphasis on rail freight in the Delivering the Goods document was positive as it would help alleviate road congestion.
“More emphasis on rail freight does not translate into less emphasis on road freight because as I have long said, ships and trains carry freight but only trucks deliver,” he said.
Outgoing Australian Logistics Council managing director Michael Kilgariff said the freight plan addressed many concerns.
“Establishing Freight Victoria is a very positive step that will help to overcome one of the industry’s most enduring criticisms – unclear accountability and coordination between different government agencies when it comes to monitoring and measuring the performance of freight networks,” Mr Kilgariff said.
“ALC also welcomes other key elements of the plan that are in line with our continuing advocacy.”