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Prime Mover Magazine


VTA calls for introduction of Victorian Freight Authority

In his opening remarks to the Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA) annual State Conference, CEO Peter Anderson called for the introduction of a Victorian Freight Authority to advise Government on the requirements of the transport and logistics industries.

Anderson noted that the VTA has been advocating for policy that supports operators to be successful in business, whether it be new road, rail and port infrastructure to streamline the freight task, or new ways of operating to create efficiencies for various participants in the supply chain.

“An example of this is our advocacy for a Victorian Freight Authority to provide government with the perspective of the transport industry when it comes to decisions impacting planning and development, roads and infrastructure, user charges, the environment, and other public policy matters,’ he said.

“The requirements of operators need to be factored early on in decisions being made by regulators and legislators, which is why are pushing for the creation of an authority like this to ensure your unique needs are being looked after.”

He added that business cost increases seen across the supply-chain industry over the past 12 months have been felt especially by road transport operators.

“We’ve had infrastructure surcharge increases from all the stevedores in Melbourne and elsewhere around the country, road charges are increasing exponentially whether it be fuel and excises, registration, insurance and tolls, and the threat of industrial action throughout many sectors of the economy is arguably the greatest it’s been for a long time, as we saw over Christmas at Webb Dock,” Anderson said.

“Indeed, the possibility of future super unions like we’ve seen with the merger of the CFMEU (Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union) and MUA (Maritime Union of Australia) could have far-reaching negative impacts on employers and supply chains nationally.

“In year’s gone past, operators would typically wear the increases rather than risk losing business to competitors. We need to shift this attitude and educate not only customers, but consumers as well, that increases in costs are going to be passed on through the supply chain, and ultimately to the end-users of the goods transported by operators.”

Without such action, he noted, operators may not have cost recovery increases accepted and will therefore go under, “which is not good for anyone.”

In his speech, Anderson also shared that the VTA’s community outreach efforts have been well received.

“We are getting closer to a really encouraging outcome with resident groups in the inner west of Melbourne near the port who for some time have been concerned about the impacts of heavy-vehicle movements,” he said.

“We’re working on a solution that will create a range of improvements and set new standards for driver training, instruction and vehicle emissions, and ultimately create better harmony between passenger and commercial road users.”

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