THE Australian Logistics Council said the announcement that the NSW government intended to transfer up to 15,000 kilometres of council-owned roads back to the state would increase certainty for freight and logistics operators using roads in the state.

ALC CEO Kirk Coningham said the policy announcement was welcome because it would help to eliminate some of the inconsistencies, cost-shifting and administrative delays that arise by having different sections of the road owned by multiple local councils.

“Smaller councils in regional areas often do not have the revenue base or the personnel required to maintain road infrastructure to the standard freight logistics operators require to support the safe and efficient movement of goods through the supply chain,” he said.

“Additionally, as the national freight task grows, Australia must find ways to further enhance supply chain efficiency. This includes the use of high productivity vehicles with larger payloads in order to meet business and consumer expectations around rapid deliveries. We must ensure that road infrastructure is maintained to a standard that supports their use.”

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Mr Coningham continued, saying it was also important that certain decisions around road access can be made promptly and applied consistently.

“It will be important for the freight logistics industry to be involved in conversations around the road asset transfer process, so that its needs are clearly taken into account,” he said.

“Transferring the road assets on which the NSW freight network heavily depends from regional councils back to the State Government and clearing the council roads maintenance backlog will help deliver on these objectives, and reduce uncertainty around future road infrastructure investment and maintenance.”

“Ultimately, this will bring about greater efficiency in the end-to-end supply chain, which is good news for producers and consumers alike.”

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