THE FEDERAL government has commenced a review of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

The strategy was published in 2019 as a 20-year agenda for improving the safety, productivity and resilience of freight and supply chains.

The first review was scheduled for 2024, but infrastructure and transport ministers agreed to bring the review forward after the supply chain experienced disruptions “never envisaged” when the strategy was being developed.

Federal minister for transport and infrastructure Catherine King said industry had called on ministers to commence the first review.

The said the review would ensure the strategy remains fit-for-purpose for the freight sector and supply chains.

“We know this industry has experienced unprecedented and compounding disruptions over the past four years including a global pandemic, extreme weather events, geo-political tensions, skills shortages and more,” she said.

“The review is a critical opportunity to take stock of what has changed and what has been achieved since 2019.

“It will help build a more effective strategy that is better equipped to address Australia’s growing and changing freight task.”

Ms King said the review would check for gaps in the strategy’s goals and identify priorities for the next five-year National Action Plan.

She said the review would respond to stakeholder consultation and consider public submissions.

“Stakeholder engagement will be an important part of identifying these gaps and priorities,” she said.

“In late August, I am looking forward to hosting a round table to hear directly from industry how the strategy can be strengthened.”

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts will lead the review in close collaboration with industry and state and territory governments.

Ministers plan to consider the recommendations of the review by the end of this year.