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Logistics leader calls for integrated freight network

Thursday, 3 Apr 2014 ( #661 ) - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Local News Story
Asciano CEO John Mullen.
John Mullen, chief executive and MD of rail freight and port operator Asciano, has urged government and industry to work closely together toward a more integrated and efficient national freight network to support Australia’s unique logistics challenges.

Speaking at the recent ALC Forum in Sydney, Mullen highlighted three key areas of focus:
- Implementing a national freight network master plan that provides a long-term
roadmap for an efficient supply chain;
- Ensuring new freight infrastructure investment is directed where it will have the
greatest benefit; and
- Moving toward seamless national regulation and ensuring the private sector
continues to play a role in improved supply chain outcomes.

On the need for a national freight master plan, Mullen said freight and infrastructure investments are long-cycle plays and the private sector needs certainty and long-term direction if it is to have a leading role in funding and operating Australia’s freight network.

Mullen acknowledged the important role Infrastructure Australia needs to play in maximising the benefit of new infrastructure investment and maintaining alignment with long-term freight network plans.

"We conduct endless debate about major infrastructure investment but see glacial progress in actually implementing such investment," he said. "We need to work to a master plan with clearly identified freight network corridors, develop an independent and bipartisan process for the review and approval of new projects and then move beyond electoral cycles in delivering our stated infrastructure plans."

He supports government’s commitment to reducing the regulatory burden and says the greatest opportunity for eliminating inefficiency is in those areas where both state and federal regulation is imposed. "Freight is a national issue and, as such, we need to pursue integrated national standards rather than separate state-based regulation."
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