Canberra, Australia – The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has submitted its ten point plan for improving Australia’s freight and supply chain efficiency to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities.

‘The ARA supports the development of a national freight and supply chain strategy to guide long term decision making and investments by both government and industry’ said Danny Broad, CEO of the ARA.

Australia’s freight task is expected to grow by more than 80 per cent between 2011 and 2031 and the national population expected to increase to 30.5 million by 2031.

The ARA, on behalf of the rail industry has identified 10 areas that require attention to enable greater efficiency and productivity for rail freight. They include linking future infrastructure funding to the delivery of reform, commitment to a competitively neutral policy approach to ensure domestic rail freight markets can operate as far as possible on a level footing with other modal choices, a national framework for corridor protection, equitable access pricing for road and rail, as well as Commonwealth, State and Territory Government investment into rail.

Other areas for improvement also include maximising efficiency on the existing network, addressing ‘externalities’ that impact upon the Australian community negatively, supporting technology developments, addressing jurisdictional inconsistencies and continuing to identify ways to address challenges associated with different track owners.

‘The conference will further reaffirm the industry’s 10 priorities to creating national freight and supply chain efficiencies and establish a truly nationally efficient and integrated freight transport system’ Mr Broad concluded.