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Freight Log, August 2019
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SAFC Conference

Executive Officer’s Note – Moving Freight and SAFC Conference

The response to SAFC’s latest multimodal freight infrastructure blueprint, Moving Freight 2019, has been phenomenal. Media interest has been exceptional and we have been doing interviews ever since across metro and regional print and radio – both industry and mainstream press.

While the South East Link concept wasn’t the focus of the document, it certainly captured a lot of metro media interest – including making page 1 of the Advertiser. An accompanying poll on the Advertiser’s web article with almost 900 responses found that 75% of the public supported the concept, a solid and representative sample and an encouraging sign.

More importantly, other key submissions into the 20 Year State Infrastructure Strategy have overwhelmingly supported our call for the connection between the SE Freeway and the North South Corridor to be addressed.

Following on from the success of our joint conference last year, SAFC will be holding a 1 day conference on Tuesday 29 October at the Adelaide Convention Centre – Mark this date in your calendars now. Invitations will go out next week, with substantial discounts for SAFC members (it may make sense to take up SAFC membership if you are not already a member).

A fantastic line up is planned - Confirmed speakers include Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephan Knoll, DPTI CEO Tony Braxton-Smith, Naa Opoku (Head of National Freight & Supply Chain Strategy Development), Caroline Rhodes of GPSA, Rebecca Knoll of SACOME, Mark Young  CEO of Adelaide Airport plus a host of key transport industry identities.

Our thanks go to Platinum Sponsors Flinders Ports, and Major Sponsors Adelaide Airport Limited and Genesee & Wyoming Australia for making this event possible.

SAFC Advocacy in Action

August 2019 has been one of the busiest months ever for SAFC Advocacy efforts on behalf of members and the broader freight and logistics industry – Some highlights:

  • SAFC has made three submissions into the review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law this month – on Fatigue, Access and Safe People and Practices. The workload associated with this review is huge, but it is critical that we get it right to ensure the future productivity of the road freight industry.
  • SAFC has also entered an early submission into the Preliminary Draft Adelaide Airport Master Plan – which embeds the construction of the ‘Airport East’ Freight precinct into the next 8 years (and likely much sooner). Congratulations to AAL on another quality document.
  • SAFC has been appointed to the Project Reference Group for the development of a SA Speed Management Strategy by DPTI, and attended the first PRG Meeting. It was encouraging to see DPTI so welcoming of industry comments on the key issues.
  • We met with DIRDAC representatives in regards to the National Heavy Vehicle Charging Pilot, which is looking at how the trucking industry may be charged for its use of the roads in the future. It was good to see the Commonwealth so interested in listening to industry views.
  • We undertook a huge volume of media interviews over several weeks on Moving Freight – SAFC’s blueprint for freight infrastructure development over the next 20 years. It’s been very encouraging to see such a high level of interest from both metro and regional media.
  • We also attended meetings on the Princes Highway Corridor Strategy Study (which includes the critical Augusta Highway) and also attended the SARTA Conference – Congratulations to Steve and the team on another very informative event.
Public comment period open for Adelaide Airport draft Master Plan

Earlier this month, Adelaide Airport released its 2019 Preliminary Draft Master Plan (PDMP) outlining the vision for the development of Adelaide Airport to support the continued growth of air travel and the State economy.

It will focus on sustainable outcomes, improved customer experience and finding innovative solutions, short and longer-term planning, and delivery of facilities, infrastructure, ground transport and utilities, will ensure that the airport continues to serve the people of South Australia.

Infrastructure projects expected to be underway or completed over the next five years include the domestic and international terminal expansion (currently under construction) and a freight and logistics hub in the Airport East Precinct to the south of the main runway with dedicated access via Richmond Road.

Over the next 20 years, forecasts indicate passenger numbers will grow to 19.8 million – including 3.3 million international travellers – while air freight will almost triple from 58,500 tonnes to 146,000 tonnes.

The Master Plan notes that Adelaide Airport is continuing to develop Airport East as a major freight, transport and logistics hub with direct access to major arterial routes including the North-South Corridor.

Air freight capacity at Adelaide Airport is expected to increase as air traffic movements increase and also plays a key factor in the sustainability of passenger services – particularly international services – with the success of any new routes or increased capacity predicated on the ability to match passenger and air freight growth.

Adelaide Airport Managing Director, Mark Young, said a lot had been achieved in the past five years, “Adelaide Airport remains one of the fastest growing domestic and international airports in Australia … the growth of Adelaide Airport is inextricably linked to the development of South Australia. We play an essential role in the economic prosperity and development of the State through creating jobs and supporting business, tourism and leisure activities.”

Mr Young also commented that Adelaide Airport “are planning and building appropriate levels of infrastructure to stay ahead of this growth and maintain our reputation as one of Australia’s most modern airports.”

The Master Plan is an important document for Adelaide Airport as it is the primary planning tool for the next eight years as well as presenting long-term strategic plans, “looking forward, we see the completion of the terminal expansion project in 2021 and the creation of a freight and logistics hub in our Airport East Precinct as important goals for our business,” My Young stated.

The Adelaide Airport 2019 PDMP is on public display until October 28, 2019. Adelaide Airport encourages written comments from the community either via email to or by post addressed to ‘Adelaide Airport Master Plan, Adelaide Airport Limited, 1 James Schofield Drive, Adelaide Airport SA 5950’.

Submissions must be received by 5.00pm on 28 October 2019. For more information on the master plan and public open day details click here, to view the master plan in its entirely click here.

Government considers changes to access pricing to encourage more freight on rail

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Michael McCormack has this month made comment that getting more freight onto rail is “a huge priority” for and in order to facilitate this, the Government will consider changes to access pricing to improve rail’s competitiveness.

Pacific National CEO and Freight On Rail Group (FORG) chair Dean Dalla Valle has been consistently vocal about the government examining potential changes to rail access pricing regimes and more specifically to abolish charges on the Sydney-Melbourne rail corridor to address the substantial competitive advantage enjoyed by road operators on this particular busy route.

Minister McCormack noted that it “just makes good sense for safety, for productivity, for supply chain efficiencies, and for lowering costs for all concerned … get more freight onto rail networks, get those supply chains and efficiencies happening; it’s better for productivity, better for getting goods to port and then onto those market opportunities that we’ve opened up.”

The Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney has, in Mr Dalla Valle’s words, “become a conveyor belt of more than 700,000 B-double equivalent return trips each year,” whereas rail only accounts for 1% of freight movements between these two cities.

Pacific National has conducted analysis calculating the access costs of hauling a 20-foot container through the corridor at $94 for rail, and only $55 on the back of a B-double, “in terms of accessing the freight corridor between Melbourne and Sydney, that’s a massive 70% cost penalty for rail,”  Mr Della Valle said.

According to Mr Dalla Valle, excessive government charges applied to rail freight services and a build-up of red tape are suffocating the haulage of goods. The Government taxes operators an access charge to run freight trains on railways, which do not account for extensive taxpayer funding of roads (and hence support for trucks) compared to significant commercial demands on rail freight.

Sturt Highway crash poorly handled by Police

The South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) has been openly critical of the way a tragic fatal head on collision of two B-doubles in a dust storm near Truro was handled by SA Police this month.

The incident, in which actions taken by deceased driver Coen Fraser were described as heroic, was caused due to Fraser swerving to avoid a car which had parked in the left lane of the Sturt Highway as visibility was reduced heavily and the car driver called emergency services.

The backlash from SARTA has been extensive following state police actions and statements in which the deceased’s family is said to have been treated like terrorists and criminals.

SARTA director Steve Shearer stated that Mr Fraser’s mother and uncle were treated poorly during a raid on their premises and were not informed of the fatality by the officers at the business.

The officers are said to have been searching for evidence of fatigue, despite being told Fraser was working on his own account and the truck involved did not belong to the raided company.

“Police were told that and still attended and acted as if they were dealing with criminals,” Mr Shearer said, “they demanded documents, which they are entitled to ask for, but it is quite clear, given what they asked for, they are treating these individuals who have just lost their son and nephew, as if they are criminals. And it is not acceptable. It is neither necessary nor reasonable. It is unconscionable and we are extremely angry.”

Comments made by South Australia Police commissioner Grant Stevens further worsened the situation as it appeared that the incident had been pre-judged, with Mr Shearer responded that  “a dust storm does not cause vehicles to crash. It's the decisions of the drivers… in this case, those decisions related to a choice made to continue driving, or driving in a manner which was not consistent with the conditions.”

SARTA has made public comments previously about a negative change in the state police attitude to the industry with Mr Shearer noting that SARTA “fully accept police have to do their job [but] what they have done is act in a brutal, unconscionable unprofessional manner … I have been doing this for 25 years and I have never seen this sort of appalling behaviour by police.”

Mr Shearer believes it is symptomatic of the police in the past two years adopting an adversarial approach, where previously there was cooperative, working relationship that dramatically improved safety in this industry.

Miliana Giles, the wife of the other victim, Brenden Giles, issued a statement via the Transport Workers Union SA/NT (TWU) calling for an end to the current system which apportions most of the blame on truck drivers commenting, “I’d like the blame game to stop. Drivers are copping the blame and fines for rules which put all the focus on the drivers.”

Industry bodies have also previously called for an implementation of no-blame crash investigations with Mr Shearer noting that SARTA lodge a “very serious complaint” about the matter.

National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy gets the go ahead

At the beginning of this month, Australia’s transport ministers agreed to move forward with the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, positioning Australia to meet unprecedented freight and supply chain demands over the next 20 years.

The new nationally integrated Strategy and its associated National Action Plan, developed by all Australian governments with extensive industry input, will integrate the different transport modes for the first time.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack stated that Australian freight supply chains “deliver about 163 tonnes of freight per person around the country each year.”

Freight volumes are expected to grow by more than a third by 2040 and online shopping growth at over 20% a year, necessitating an increase in the productivity of Australia’s freight system.

Mr McCormack also noted that at the same time it is crucial “to plan for and manage the introduction of new technologies and risks from increasing natural disasters, such as the devastating floods in Queensland last year.”

In order to meet potential challenges, the Strategy commits to national action in four critical areas: smarter and targeted infrastructure investment; improving supply chain efficiency; better planning, coordination and regulation; and better freight location and performance data.

“The Strategy’s governance arrangements provide a mechanism to ratchet up action and ambition from all governments and industry over time in order to lift the performance of the freight system. Jurisdictions will report back to the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council in November with their implementation arrangements for delivering the Strategy,” said Mr McCormack

All jurisdictions will report back to the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council in November with how they plan to implement the strategy.

Importantly, the strategy comments on freight corridors and facilities protection, a growing concern for industry, however at this point the strategy and national action plan are lacking on detail so industry will be hoping for far more comprehensive Jurisdictional Action Plans. SAFC stands ready to assist in the development of the SA implementation plan and has made offers to DPTI to facilitate industry input into this process.

Channel widening project draws closer to completion

Flinders Ports have advised that the dredging work currently taking place in the Outer Harbour shipping channel is now 90% complete and they are on track for the anticipated completion of dredge works in September.

Throughout the month of August there was stormier weather in Adelaide, including strong winds, which caused increased turbidity levels around the dredge area with turbidity reaching the HOLD limits on 10 August as per the EPA licence conditions with all dredging ceased. However, the EPA approved the recommencement of dredging through careful management.

SAFC welcomes Flinders Ports careful environmental management to ensure the strict licence conditions have been maintained at all times.

From late August to November (subject to weather conditions), there will be some construction works to relocate the remaining navigation aids, which will mark the new channel alignment for arriving and departing vessels.
There are 10 piles to be installed and another four navigation aids to reinstate to piles which are already in place. Two of these piles are within close proximity to South Australian Drive.

Flinders Ports aims to minimise disruptions to residents as much as possible by assessing wind direction and focusing on the work closer to land at more favourable times. Work will only be conducted during daylight hours from Monday to Saturday from 7am – 7pm.

National company successfully prosecuted under Chain of Responsibility

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has successfully prosecuted national company Boral for Chain of Responsibility breaches for overloading a gravel truck 120% above the statutory limit.

Boral company Bitumax, which trades as Boral Asphalt has been slammed in the South Australian Magistrates Court in what is being seen as a Chain of Responsibility (COR) win. Both the loader manager and the truck driver were casual employees.

Magistrate Mark Semmens was scathing in his findings for a mass offence under the pre-October 1 Heavy Vehicle National Law with the company fined $9,900. Mr Semmens noted “this is a case of wilful blindness and ‘hopefulness’ that was improper and falls far short of good corporate governance … it is a far more serious example of a typical offence, because there was absolutely no effort of compliance on the day of the offence by any person in the chain of responsibility.”

The magistrate’s ruling notes that three requests had been submitted for the loader to have scales, over a five month period to March 2018, without result and therefore, the loading and transport of the materials involved pure guess work and speculation.

Mr Semmens also added that this was a case of complete indifference by the company and its operators as to their legal obligations, “the fact that there was nothing in place to check the mass of the load is entirely unacceptable … it is the company’s obligation to ensure that there was compliance with the heavy vehicle laws, no matter what vehicle is used or who owns it,” he states, adding, “I say that as a matter of law, the manufacturers’ load limits do not apply and no prudent operator or driver of a heavy vehicle would ever rely upon them.”

Commenting on the case, NHVR executive director statutory compliance Ray Hassall says that the decision reinforced the importance of due diligence for all parties along the heavy vehicle supply chain, “this is an important outcome for the heavy vehicle safety because it goes to the heart of issues around good governance and accountability within the chain of responsibility,” Mr Hassall said.

“Companies have a responsibility to ensure good loading practices, from the top down …those at the top of the chain have the most power to implement good safety practices and they need to take that responsibility seriously,” he added.

A 40% discount was applied on the penalty due to an early guilty plea and there was “significant” evidence of remorse in corrective action taken.

Infrastructure Australia says record spending is the new normal

The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit published this month by Infrastructure Australia (IA) presents a forward-looking view of the infrastructure challenges and opportunities faced by the country over the next 15 years and beyond.

It is the second national Audit IA has undertaken, after the first was published in 2015, and examines the infrastructure needs of the Australian community and industry.

The Audit notes that a new wave of investment and reform is needed to ensure Australia’s infrastructure continues to support quality of life and economic productivity.

IA Chair, Julieanne Alroe commented that “changing and growing demand and a mounting maintenance backlog is putting unprecedented pressure on the infrastructure services each and every Australian relies on. The current infrastructure program must do more than plug the immediate funding gap, but instead deliver long-term changes to the way we plan, fund and deliver infrastructure.”

SAFC welcomes the high level recognition of poor maintenance by IA – an issue that has been prudently raised in every edition of Moving Freight, including the recently released 2019 version.

For industry, well-targeted infrastructure investment is critical to support international competitiveness. “Our supply chains, and key inputs like water and energy, are well understood products of infrastructure, however the health and education of the workforce are highly dependent on social infrastructure and subsequently so too is national productivity,” Ms Alroe said.

The 2019 Audit also finds that constant and rapid change is creating challenges for the way we plan, design and deliver infrastructure as it showed that the current tools are not well placed to deal with many of the new infrastructure problems the nation is facing in today’s rapidly changing environment.

“Growing social, economic and environmental interdependencies have added complexity to planning, delivering and operating our infrastructure …projects across Australia are getting larger and increasingly complex, and will require new approaches if they are to be effectively delivered.

IA is calling for feedback and submissions in response to 136 challenges and 44 opportunities identified in the 2019 Audit. Submissions will be open until 31 October 2019.

Submissions are accepted via the Infrastructure Australia website, and will inform the approach and recommendations for reform identified in the forthcoming Australian Infrastructure Plan. Submissions identifying projects and initiatives for the 2020 Infrastructure Priority List are also open until 31 August.

For more information, visit

Partnership expansion as ecommerce demand grows

Australia Post and Qantas have announced an expanded domestic and international air freight agreement to support the growing demand for parcels.

The seven-year agreement, which marks nearly a century of partnership between the two organisations, will benefit online shoppers and businesses across Australia by increasing capacity and providing greater network flexibility to meet customer expectations.

The arrangement is valued at over $1 billion and gives Australia Post customers access to Qantas Freight’s dedicated freighter aircraft and priority access to the cargo space on up to 1,500 Qantas and Jetstar passenger flights to over 110 destinations each day, in addition to space on partner airlines globally.

It will also see the introduction of up to three Airbus A321P2Fs (Passenger to Freighter) to the freighter network used for Australia Post. Qantas will be the first airline in the world to operate the A321 as a freighter aircraft.

Each A321P2F adds nearly 50% more capacity, or an additional nine tonnes, compared to the existing Boeing 737 freighters. The first A321P2F is due to enter the fleet in October 2020.

Christine Holgate, CEO and Managing Director of Australia Post, said the strategic alliance with Qantas means Australia Post and its customers can continue to power ecommerce engine that drives Australian trade domestically and internationally.

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said the seven-year agreement was a vote of confidence in the future growth in ecommerce and will support the rising demand for next-day delivery and builds on the longstanding partnership between Qantas and AusPost.

The partnership between Australia Post and Qantas dates back to when the national carrier first started flying airmail for the postal service in 1922.

Industry Movers

ARTC has announced that CEO and Managing Director John Fullerton advised the Board of his intention to retire from his role mid next year.

Chairman Warren Truss has described Mr Fullerton as one of the iconic figures in the modern Australian rail industry who has played a key role in enabling rail to transform itself to be a major partner in Australia’s future transport task noting that “he is a well-regarded and trusted executive right across the industry and under his tenure with ARTC has led a steep change in safety performance, customer focus and asset improvement. He has also been instrumental in putting in place the organisation and skills to commence construction on the nation building Inland Rail project.”

Before becoming CEO at ARTC in 2011, Mr Fullerton was the chief executive officer of FreightLink, then the owner-operator of the Adelaide-Darwin railway. He was also divisional general manager of operations services at Pacific National. He joined Pacific National when it acquired the National Rail Corporation, where Fullerton spent eight years as chief operating officer.

Mr Truss went on to say that “the Board is grateful that John has given early notice of his wish to retire and for his willingness to provide continuing leadership of the business to enable a planned and stable transition phase to a new CEO.”

ARTC’s Board has engaged executive search firm, Spencer Stuart, to assist in the global search for the future ARTC CEO.

SAFC expresses deep sympathy and regret following the passing of former Nationals leader, Tim Fischer.

Mr Fischer had been battling cancer for 10 years and died surrounded by close family members. He first became an MP at the age of 24, was National leader from 1990 to 1999 and deputy prime minister in the Howard government from 1996 to 1999. He quit politics in 2001.

Mr Fischer was passionate about rail and rail safety, as well as mental health issues in the industry, as evidenced by his service as the inaugural patron of the TrackSAFE Foundation in 2012 and as an advocate for Rail Safety Week.

DPTI seeks YOUR feedback for Main South Road Duplication

The State Government has funded duplication of Main South Road between Seaford and Sellicks Beach to improve road safety as well as improve traffic flow and increase capacity.

DPTI is seeking YOUR feedback on the development (see below).

Main South Road has an average traffic movement of 18,000 vehicles per day with these volumes expected to grow with several future housing, commercial and education developments in the area.

An increase in traffic volumes will mean increased road safety risks and longer delays for motorists which will be improved by duplicating Main South Road. The duplication will make travelling to, from and within Adelaide’s south safer and easier a well as assisting in tourism growth.

The duplication will be delivered in two stages with a planning study having commenced, which will further identify issues and opportunities along the corridor, determine possible solutions that address the issues and opportunities, and develop a concept design from the recommended solution.

  • Stage 1: The State Government will invest $305 million for Stage 1 which will involve the duplication of approximately 10 kilometres of Main South Road from south of Griffiths Drive in Seaford to Aldinga. This will include the duplication of the Pedler Creek Bridge at Seaford Rise.
  • Stage 2 (unfunded) will continue duplication of Main South Road for approximately six kilometres from Aldinga to Sellicks Beach.

Planning for Stages 1 and 2 will be complete in mid to late 2019 with construction of Stage 1 anticipated to be complete in 2022.

As part of the planning study, DPTI is undertaking community/industry engagement and liaising with stakeholders. Specific questions for those who use Main South Road (MSR):

  • What are some of the key destinations you access along MSR?
  • What sized vehicle/ type of vehicle do you drive?
  • Do you experience any issues with accessing properties along MSR?

Email answers to these questions should be sent to

A survey is also open to provide comment, and can be accessed at:

Golf Day and Dinner fore Adelaide Freight Industry

The Annual Adelaide Freight Industry Golf Day and Dinner is on again at the West Lakes Golf Club on Thursday 17 October.

The 18 hole Ambrose team competition includes light refreshments during the day and a sausage sizzle from 10:30am till 12 with the day followed by a three course dinner.

Attendees may come to the entire day and evening, or just golf or dinner.

SAFC is proud to be a major sponsor of this industry event - access the invitation and registration form to get involved. Registrations close Friday 4 October.

Tee you there!

Key SAFC Contacts
Executive Committee
Phil Baker Independant Chairman 0411 195 554
Adrian Teaha Vice Chair and General Rep 08 8217 4397
Jason Clark Road Freight Rep 08 8440 4100
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
James Murray General Rep 08 8304 1361
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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