14.09.2023Focus on freight – policy brief
Melbourne’s freight and logistics sector is crucial for the economy and sustaining our way of life. It facilitates the movement of goods, ensures the availability of essential products, creates jobs and sustains industries.
Despite the sector’s importance, it faces challenges linked to issues of planning, regulation, infrastructure, skills and technology. With Melbourne’s population expected to reach 9 million by 2050, the Port of Melbourne forecasting containerized freight to grow by 169% over the next 30 years, as well as shifting societal expectations around safety and the environment, clear vision, investment and strategy is needed to ensure that the sector continues to meet the demands placed on it.
With opportunities in planning, investment, private sector collaboration, regulation and technology adoption, the Committee aims to highlight some ways forward for Melbourne to maintain its competitiveness in the sector.
The Committee’s Focus on freight policy brief contains 12 recommendations to support Melbourne’s freight and logistics sector:
- Develop and publish a comprehensive, integrated transport plan for Victoria that supports safe, efficient and reliable activities across all facets of freight and logistics.
- Implement appropriate land use zoning and planning controls that support industrial activity growth.
- Gauge standardise, upgrade and maintain Victoria’s regional rail freight network (including intermodal hubs) to encourage more freight onto rail.
- Progress planning for the Western Interstate Freight Terminal as part of the dual terminal strategy in support of the Inland Rail project and ensure that these terminals connect seamlessly with this project, as well as with the Port of Melbourne.
- Accelerate investment in renewable energy infrastructure to support greater uptake of battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell freight vehicles.
- Simplify the rail access regime to help ensure that rail costs are competitive with road transport.
- Develop regulations and policies that encourage off-peak network utilisation by the freight and logistics sector.
- Further incentivise uptake of zero emission freight vehicles where applicable.
- Ensure Freight Victoria has adequate capability and resources.
- Develop a plan to increase the number of skilled workers entering the freight and logistics sector.
- Collaborate with industry to help fast-track the deployment of regulated Intelligent Transport Systems technologies on key freight corridors.
- Develop comprehensive freight network data and publish periodically.