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Freight Log, November 2018
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Executive Officer’s Note: An early safety reminder

As we move towards the holiday period, please remember to prioritise safety in your businesses – particularly where they interface with the often unpredictable public.

So far 2018 has been a year of low fatalities on our road network (see the article later in Freightlog), but the holiday season always brings with it Christmas parties, inattentive drivers, once a year caravan trips and associated risks. While Christmas may be a month away, the Christmas party season is just getting started.

Prepare your staff for poor decisions by road users and the general public in toolbox meetings. There will be instances of distraction, of risk taking, and unfortunately of ‘drink/drug driving’ and ‘drunk walking’.

While road transport companies have the most interfaces with the public, other organisations should also prepare their staff for the silly season – risk taking at level crossings for example.

In two weeks’ time the airwaves will be full of Christmas safety messages, but for our industry the additional risk starts now.

Have a safe and prosperous December – as well as a Happy Christmas and New Year.

SAFC Advocacy in Action

November has been a busy month on the advocacy front for SAFC.

Chairman Phil Baker and Executive Offer Evan Knapp met with new DPTI Chief Executive Tony Braxton-Smith to welcome him to the role and discuss issues of industry concern, including the North South Corridor, Globelink and DPTI operations.

We participated in an excellent forum on the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, facilitated by strategy head Naa Opoku. The strategy appears to be heading in the right direction, with key action areas including the protection of freight corridors and facilities, ensuring regulation is fit for purpose and improving transport data to enable evidence based decision making.

We also caught up with local representatives of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, to discuss a wide range of issues including chain of responsibility. SAFC has been added to the recently formed Industry Stakeholder Group, and looks forward to participating in this forum.

This month has also seen SAFC participate in critical discussions on potential changes to the Heavy Vehicle Charging Regime, and discuss plans for the Joy Baluch Bridge duplication with DPTI.

We also attended the Roundtable on Oil and Gas meeting last week, with a wide range of projects with transport implications on the table for development.

Adelaide Airport makes $45m profit thanks to passenger growth

Adelaide Airport has recorded its highest revenue with a $44.9 million profit which has been attributed to a continuing increase in passenger numbers.

Up 8% from last year, the airport generates its income from aeronautical fees, car parking, retail rent and property income, turning over $214.3 million last financial year.

Adelaide Airport managing director Mark Young said international passenger growth surpassed the national average last financial year and domestic passenger numbers improved faster than any other state, “it was a very solid year, some pleasing passenger growth - 4.1% overall and 5.6% growth in international,” he said.

The airport now boasts nine international airlines that, within one stop, reach 300 destinations worldwide.

Mr Young noted that there has also been “growth in freight at just under 7%, and we currently carry 60% of exports out of South Australia. With the airlines we’ve got and the additional capacity, it’s an area where there’s a real opportunity for growth.”

A record 8.4 million passengers travelled through Adelaide Airport last financial year, with an additional 53,000 international passengers from the previous year. This has given South Australia the opportunity to share a piece of the Australian airfreight exports which has, in the past year, continued to grow and now sits well above 40,000 tonnes.

Traditional perishable exports continue to grow strongly year to year with non-perishable exports taking off since 2014.

The largest uplift in outbound passenger numbers was to Fiji while new domestic routes have been introduced to Kingscote, Hobart and Newcastle.

In September 2019, Adelaide will become the first Australian city to host the World Aviation Routes conference. Mr Young said the event would offer an opportunity for the airport to pitch to airline executives from around the world.

“We are always talking to airlines that we think can increase the overall size of the market and not cannibalise the market ... our short term goal is to increase direct access into China and South East Asia and in the medium to longer term our target is the west coast of the US.”

Considering Adelaide Airport’s future plans for extending further into international markets, it is not unreasonable to project exports will increase by several per cent.

The terminal upgrade is the latest stage of the airport’s $1 billion master plan, which forecasts annual international passenger numbers to grow to 2.81 million by 2034, and to 14.1 million passengers on domestic flights.

New infrastructure fails to keep pace with population growth

Auditing and accounting firm KPMG has recently released analysis of state and federal government capital expenditure which shows that Australia’s investments in infrastructure are struggling to maintain pace with the nation’s population growth.

Of the 4% growth in public spending on infrastructure, more than 3.5% is needed just to cover depreciation and population growth, which leaves only a fraction for a net increase.

KPMG chief economist Brendan Rynne stated that “to stand still” Australia needs to spend about $45 billion on public sector assets each year.

Mr Rynne said that despite those larger investments, public infrastructure spending remained inadequate, with total government spending reaching $86 billion in 2017, $14 billion short of the approximately $100 billion required to maintain and create better services.

Victoria has the lowest net increase of all the eastern states due to a population boom that has seen Melbourne become one of the fastest growing cities in the developed world at close to 3% annually.

Less populated regions of the country like South Australia and the Northern Territory are spending relatively more per capita than the more populous states, but have much larger total road networks to support on a smaller revenue base.

In Infrastructure Australia’s recent Future Cities document, research showed that both Melbourne’s and Sydney’s living standards will be crushed as their populations surge to 7.3 million and 7.4 million respectively by 2046, with worsening congestion and reduced access to jobs, hospitals, schools and green space.

In already built-out cities, the cost of retrofitting new infrastructure to accommodate greater population densities is prohibitively expensive because of the need for land buy-backs, tunnelling, as well as disruptions to existing infrastructure.

Physical constraints in major cities make the costs of expanding infrastructure more expensive, so even if a user-pays model is adopted, a higher population is very likely to impose a higher cost of living for people already residing in these major cities. Growing populations will also place pressure on already strained transport systems.

Writer for MacroBusiness, Leith van Onselen noted in his coverage of this issue that “the most obvious and least cost policy solution is to significantly dial back Australia’s immigration program, reduce population growth, and forestall the need for costly new infrastructure projects in the first place … immigration and infrastructure problems are directly linked. Immigration must be halved if Australia is to maintain the liveability of its cities.”

SA rural road deaths on the rise

Despite the overall road toll expected to be the lowest in a decade, rural road deaths have seen an upward swing.

This rise has prompted calls to improve safety and infrastructure on the state’s most notorious sections including Gorge Road, Victor Harbor Road, Port Wakefield Road and Horrocks Highway.

Fatalities on metropolitan roads are down this year with only 15 fatalities so far, however, the regional road toll sits at 49 which is two less than the annual 10-year average and four more than the 2017 total.

SAFC has been vocal in targeting Horrocks Highway as part of our advocacy efforts which was rewarded with the State Government allocating $2.5 million for road upgrades in August. (Link to August article). The RAA has also expressed concern regarding Horrocks Highway with the association advocating for road upgrades to improve Horrocks Highway’s poor surface and add more overtaking lanes.

RAA road safety senior manager Charles Mountain said that “further investment will be needed on this corridor to bring it to safe and acceptable condition for the thousands of motorists who use this road on a daily basis.”

Mr Mountain also made mention that more education is needed to improve road safety amongst drivers on SA’s country roads, “factors such as fatigue are potentially a greater issue because of the greater distances people tend to drive in the country,” he said.

Mr Mountain said safe road conditions, drivers, cars and speeds were all vital to reduce serious and fatal crashes.

FORG call for Rail Freight Policy Updates

Industry partnership Freight on Rail Group (FORG) have released a statement lauding the governments decisions with regard to rail infrastructure but criticising other policies impacting the sector that have not received necessary over-hauling to bring them up to date.

Australian Chair of FORG, Dean Dalla Valle of Pacific National, said at a time when Australians want safer roads, less traffic congestion during their daily commute and lower carbon emissions, government policies are largely geared to rolling-out heavier and longer trucks noting that the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator recently approved the roll-out of a 105 tonne 36.5-metre B-Quad truck on select routes between Victoria and Queensland.

Mr Dalla Valle also mentioned a 2017 Deloitte Access Economics report found moving nine tonnes of freight by rail instead of road between Melbourne and Brisbane saves approximately $250 in accident and emission costs, “a single 1,800-metre freight train hauling containers is equivalent to removing 70 B-Double trucks from our roads. These compelling facts put rail freight firmly on the right side of every debate.”

That same report also found that for every tonne of freight hauled, road freight produces 14 times greater accident costs than rail freight and 16 times as much carbon pollution.

 “It’s disappointing the benefits of rail freight are not fully recognised or embedded in government policies. More worrying, policies aren’t keeping pace with the delivery of upgraded rail infrastructure or the range of new and improved technologies available to the sector,” said Mr Dalla Valle.

FORG is calling on the Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) of Australia to urgently consider the following initiatives to get rail freight policy back on track:

  • Rail freight efficiency and productivity to be given a higher priority by TIC, including a program of work in 2019 to streamline federal and state regulations to allow the proven benefits of rail freight to be fully utilised throughout Australia’s transport supply chain.
  • Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) refashioned to not just maintain a focus on safety compliance and enforcement, but also the timely advancement of much needed efficiency and productivity initiatives in the rail freight sector.
  • Harmonisation of operating procedures and training requirements for freight train drivers and crews across state and territory borders by 2021.
  • Productivity Commission to investigate and quantify the impacts of mandated train driver hours on the rail freight sector; notably in Queensland and New South Wales.
  • Recognise rail freight sector’s significant contribution to reducing both accident costs and carbon emissions in Australia’s transport supply chain.

Mr Dalla Valle said the trucking industry must be congratulated for the strength and intensity of its advocacy. I admire how truckies make no apologies for being single-minded in their pursuit of extracting from governments major concessions in efficiency, productivity and road access, “unfortunately, rail freight has become tangled in nests of technical jargon and jumping at perceived safety risks that modern-day technology has largely eliminated.”

Safety approach endorsed for automated vehicles

The National Transport Commission (NTC) have this month released their Safety Assurance for Automated Driving Systems: Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) Statement endorsing a safety assurance approach for automated vehicles in Australia.

The RIS was released following approval by transport and infrastructure ministers and assessed options for the safety assurance of automated vehicles to support their safe design and operation when they become ready for commercial deployment. Ministers agreed to the recommendations in the RIS including a safety assurance approach for automated vehicles at first supply, and further work to determine appropriate arrangements for in-service safety.

The NTC consulted with industry, governments, experts and the community on options for safety assurance in 2018 and received 62 submissions during its consultation process. The outcomes of this consultation and the full list of safety criteria can be found in the Safety Assurance for Automated Driving Systems: Decision Regulation Impact Statement available here.

NTC Acting Chief Executive, Dr Geoff Allan, said the approach for the introduction of automated vehicles will build on the legal framework that currently exists for all vehicles in Australia when they are imported, “by using existing legal frameworks to regulate automated vehicles, we can develop a single, nationally consistent approach to have vehicle importers meet key safety requirements,” said Dr Allan.

The key to Australia’s new system is the 11 safety criteria and three obligations which a new regulated entity, known as the automated driving system entity (ADSE), will be assessed against.

The legal obligations on this new entity will interact with existing legal responsibilities that apply to the vehicle manufacturer, the vehicle owner and the vehicle driver.

“We believe that this approach provides a balance between assuring safety and encouraging innovation, while giving certainty to industry prior to vehicles being allowed into the Australian market,” commented Dr Allan.

Ministers have also directed further work on safety arrangements for automated vehicles after first supply, when they are in-service. Under the existing system, state and territory governments have responsibility for the in-service safety of vehicles.

SAFC were among the industry participants that made a submission. In our submission we noted that Option 2 did not deliver effective and comprehensive safety outcomes and whilst Options 3 and 4 were nearly identical, Option 4 included a primary safety duty which provides the means to address unknown issues as they arise. We cannot help but be disappointed at the outcome of Option 2 being chosen, although we are encouraged that further work will be undertaken on the ‘in service’ element of safety assurance.

The safety assurance approaches for first supply and in-service will be implemented alongside a complete set of reforms to create an end-to-end regulatory framework for automated vehicles by the time they are ready for commercial deployment in Australia. “Australia is committed to harmonising regulations on automated vehicles in line with international standards as they are developed.”

Freight data requirements study to increase supply chain efficiency

The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DIRDC), in conjunction with research and development body iMOVE, is seeking participants for a Freight Data Requirements study.

The Freight Data Requirements Study project is looking to identify and articulate the data requirements of the freight and supply chain sector, a step toward making Australia a world-leader in this area ahead of the expected release of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy in November 2018.

This project is being undertaken to address improvements the freight and logistics industry can make and to inform the Federal Government’s National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, acting on the recommendations in the industry-led Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities.

The objectives of the study include:

  • identification of the freight data required for both governments and industry to improve freight-related planning, operations, and investment decision-making
  • identify what part of those requirements can be satisfied from existing data collection processes, and what additional data would be required
  • explore how necessary data might be obtained
  • explore how the freight data should be stored, analysed, and disseminated.

The other crucial component of this study is to understand the circumstances under which companies would be prepared to share data. iMOVE commented on their website that “with a fair an open approach to data sharing, there is a higher degree of success in achieving optimal visibility in the supply chain … the more consultation and buy-in we have from the industry on this, the more chance we have of seeing Australia as possessing the most efficient, most visible, supply chain in the world.”

Additionally, the Freight Data Study will examine how this pool of data might be stored, analysed, and disseminated, in order to support the sector’s decision making.

To view the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities final report click here.

For further information on this research study or to be involved in the consultation process with iMOVE email

North-South Corridor Darlington traffic restrictions in place

There will be traffic restrictions in place on the weekend of 1 and 2 December 2018 as the Tonsley Boulevard Bridge beam installation takes place. A large crane, smaller support cranes, trucks and lighting towers will be used. 

The changes to traffic conditions will be in place at the intersection of Tonsley Boulevard and South Road, St Marys, from 6am – 6pm both Saturday and Sunday.

Works may also be undertaken over the weekend of 8-9 December if all bridge beams are not able to be installed. 

Northbound and southbound traffic on South Road through the work site will be reduced to one lane and access at Tonsley Boulevard will be restricted to a left turn in and left turn out only.

Motorists exiting Tonsley Boulevard and wanting to head south will be required to use an alternative route however emergency services access and bus access will be maintained at all times as will pedestrian access across South Road, just north of Tonsley Boulevard. 

Due to the length and weight of the beams, their installation is dependent on favourable wind conditions. If wind speeds exceed the allowable limit, the works will not be able to proceed as planned and will be rescheduled.

Every effort will be made to minimise noise and disruption while these works are undertaken. As always, plan ahead, allow extra travel time, take extra care when workers are on site and observe speed and lane restrictions when travelling through the area.

Key SAFC Contacts
Executive Committee
Phil Baker Independant Chairman 0411 195 554
Adrian Teaha Vice Chair and General Rep 08 8217 4397
Brad McArdle Road Freight Rep 0467 002 027
Peter Taylor Rail Freight Rep 0410 315 580
Paul Paparella Sea Freight Rep 08 8447 7855
Brenton Cox Air Freight Rep 08 8154 9538
Andrew Pellizzari General Rep 08 8447 0685
Jonathan Wilson General Rep 0408 118 684
Mike Wilde Minister's Nominee 08 7109 7333
Executive Officer Evan Knapp 08 8447 0664 0411 091 257
SAFC Contact Details

South Australian Freight Council Inc
C/- Flinders Ports Limited
296 St Vincent Street

T: 08 8447 0635
F: 08 8447 0606

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