Minister favours targeted infrastructure spend
NEW safety and productivity initiatives that will help the freight industry were the focus of the Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association 2020 Conference held in Tamworth last week.
Speaking at the conference, Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said a combination of targeted infrastructure investment and road freight policy work will benefit the industry.
"Transporting products through regional and rural areas is critical to the Australian economy, to grow small business and get product to families and individuals," Mr Buchholz said.
"Our Australian truck manufacturers continue to drive innovation, to achieve efficiency and productivity gains. That helps all operators in the transport sector to move freight safely and efficiently.
"As government we're committed to working together, with industry and community to not only improve efficiency and productivity, but also reduce fatalities and serious injuries on our roads."
Mr Buchholz showcased a video of emerging technologies, increasingly being used by truck manufacturers to improve road safety, such as smart-mirrors and indicators following a visit to Daimler in Melbourne.
"I've been visiting manufacturers of trucks and trailers around Australia and I am thoroughly impressed with their commitment to improving road safety with modern technology.
"Road safety is the responsibility of all of us.
"As Government, we're delivering a road safety focus that was reflected in the 2019-20 Budget, which delivered an additional $2.2 billion in funding over 10 years to the Local and State Government Road Safety Package.
This funding includes $1.1 billion for the Roads to Recovery Program, $550 million for the Black Spot Program, $275 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and $275 million for the Bridges Renewal Program.
Other initiatives benefiting the freight industry include the 20-year National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, which ensures supply chains are serviced by resilient and efficient freight networks.
"The Strategy commits all jurisdictions to actions such as providing regional and remote Australia with infrastructure capable of connecting regions and communities to major gateways through land links, regional airports or coastal shipping," Mr Buchholz said.
"Our freight task is growing and our heavy vehicle transport sector will deliver on that task. Initiatives such as the Strategy will help lift freight system performance, to assist the sector in this task."