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Freight Log - Newsletter of the South Australian Freight Council
Freight Log, September 2019
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Executive Officer’s Note

A couple of things to note this month:

Firstly, SAFC’s Freight 2030 Conference is rapidly approaching – and there are substantial discounts for SAFC members. If you are not already a member, it may be worth considering membership – particularly if more than one staff member will be attending.

This also helps support SAFC’s advocacy efforts on your behalf. More detail on the stellar lineup for the conference is included later in Freightlog.

Secondly, there has been an overwhelming level of support from our industry and other Associations on our submission into the 20 Year State Infrastructure Strategy, Moving Freight 2019. Thanks to those who have passed on their feedback. If you haven’t read a copy, you can find it here.

SAFC has also noticed a significant level of support for our positions from other associations in their submissions – this makes our requests far more difficult to ignore. Discussion about some of these priorities has already started, with joint advocacy a likely outcome.

You can read more about the other associations that have supported SAFC positions later in FreightLog.

I look forward to catching up with you all at the SAFC Conference on 29 October.

SAFC Advocacy in Action

This month SAFC:

  • Attended the Opposition’s Small Business Council meeting at Parliament House, along with most of the other key industry associations in South Australia. Of particular note was the number who raised road maintenance issues as affecting their members. Our thanks to Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas and Shadow Minister Claire Scriven for their close attention to our issues.
  • Met with SARTA’s Steve Shearer to discuss the ongoing review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law, and the NHVR’s Grain Harvest Management Schemes Review.
  • Drafted submissions into two more HVNL review papers, on Assurance Models and Enforcement, and the NHVR’s  Grain Harvest Management Schemes review.
  • Prepared a submission on Viterra’s Port Code of Conduct exemption application to the ACCC.
  • Met with Lea Bacon of the Local Government Association of SA to discuss commonalities in our 20 year State Infrastructure Strategy submissions, and the HVNL review.
SAFC Freight 2030 Conference not to be missed!

The South Australian Freight Council (SAFC) 2019 Freight and Logistics Conference: Freight 2030, to be held on Tuesday 29 October at the Adelaide Convention Centre, is fast approaching with registrations quickly filling up.

The conference will address critical changes that will impact the way the transport and logistics industry goes about its business into the future, featuring panellists from leading corporate, government, and industry organisations.

With Platinum Sponsorship provided by Flinders Ports Holdings and Major Sponsorship supplied by Adelaide Airport Limited, Genesee and Wyoming Australia and the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, this one day event features keynote addresses from leading executives and government members.

This includes Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Chief Executive Tony Braxton-Smith, who will present on Current and Intended Strategies and Investments for the state, a Ministerial Address from Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, the Hon. Stephan Knoll and a presentation on the National Freight Strategy: Implementation and Next Steps by the General Manager of the Freight and Supply Chains Inquiry Taskforce, Naa Opoku.

Attendees will gain insight and perspective from multiple industries with a presentation on behalf of the SA Mining Industry by SA Chamber of Mines and Energy CEO Rebecca Knol, and a presentation by Grain Producers SA CEO Caroline Rhodes on behalf of the SA Grain Industry specifically noting short and medium term wants and needs.

Delegates will have the opportunity to hear from, and engage with, multiple Regional Development Association CEOs as they sit on the final panel session of the day, led by Regional Development SA Chair Rob Kerin.

Conference sessions will focus on the key 2030 theme emphasising:

  • A Government View;
  • Industry Wants and Needs;
  • Are Governments (State, Local & National) doing enough to support T&L operations and industry;
  • Industry Updates, Threats and Opportunities; and
  • Transport and Logistics Developments Needed to Ensure that the Regions Prosper.

SAFC invites you to bring your colleagues, staff and customers along to this multi-modal event which is surely not one to be missed.

For Conference brochure and registration form, click here. For more information such as the full speaker list, visit the conference page on our website available here.

Industry identifies priorities for 20 Year State Infrastructure Strategy

With Infrastructure SA now reviewing submissions into their 20 Year State Infrastructure Study (SIS), SAFC has taken the time to ascertain what the main priorities for industry are and what commonalities lie between each different organisation that made a submission. We have noted a massive level of agreement with SAFC positions as outlined in Moving Freight 2019.

The North South Corridor has proven to be a major piece of infrastructure that industry wants prioritised and completed with Adelaide Airport Limited noting that there needs to be “timely delivery of the final stages.” The RAA echoed this sentiment with the Civil Contractors Federation SA commenting that “completion is vital,” and Business SA stating their “strong support for completion of the corridor.” Key arterial routes crossing South Road should also be protected and enhanced.

Connecting the South Eastern Freeway (SEF) to the North South Corridor is also a priority with Business SA noting that a solution could be an East-West link to the north-south corridor from the SEF which could be an alternative to constructing an Adelaide ring-road. The RAA commented that further economic growth could be realised through an eastern link.

Freight Asset and Corridor Protection remains an important issue for the SIS to consider. The Australian Rail Track Corporation suggested that all levels of government in South Australia should adopt appropriate land use planning protections for existing freight related activities and sites for future freight purposes and identify priority sites and corridors for potential protection. These sentiments were echoed by The Australian Logistics Council, who further noted that essential infrastructure development requires a cohesive public policy framework .

Road maintenance is also of major significance with the Local Government Association noting that the SIS should acknowledge the need to lift the State Government’s road resurfacing and re-sheeting targets, and increase investment in repairing and maintaining State Government road infrastructure. Continuing upgrades of South Australia’s regional road corridors are needed to ensure safety across the network.

Industry agrees that the duplication of the Augusta, Dukes and Sturt Highways will improve road safety outcomes and operational efficiency. This should also include highway upgrades to accommodate autonomous freight transport and facilitating improved HPV access. A state-wide railway level crossing upgrade program should also be investigated.

Less capital intensive options to improve port access through upgrades of existing rail connections should also be investigated as strategic investment in rail transport corridors is desirable. ISA could undertake a state-wide rail assessment to identify whether opportunities exist for rail to play a larger role in freight movement.

Channel Widening Project - dredging works now complete

Although some final navigation aid relocation works are still required, Flinders Ports have advised that their dredging of the channel and swing basin to widen the Outer Harbour Shipping Channel is now complete.

The channel at Port Adelaide has successfully been widened by 40 metres to accommodate the larger Port Panamax size vessels which will ensure that South Australian imports and exports remain competitive.

The channel design width of 170 metres is anticipated to remain sufficient and appropriate due to the constraints of the recently upgraded Panama Canal and its influence on global shipping design.

Some key facts about the dredging include: 

  • Dredging completed on 18 September 2019
  • 514 trips to the Dredge Material Placement Area
  • Turbidity reached the HOLD limit 4 times (caused by a combination of prolonged poor weather conditions and dredging). On each occasion dredging ceased, and only recommenced under specific conditions approved by EPA or when turbidity fell below HOLD levels.   
  • 0 marine mammal incidents
  • 239 marine mammal sightings
  • Several larger vessel booking applications are being processed
  • Dredging period undertaken within anticipated timeframe, completing dredging in the cooler winter months when water temperature is below 18 degrees as per dredging licence conditions 
  • All EPA audits satisfied (2 in total)
  • All dredged material placed only within the approved area 
  • Proactive measures taken to reduce marine pest and biosecurity risks, such as thorough cleaning and inspection of dredging equipment and a Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome Management Plan

Once completed, the Outer Harbor Channel Widening Project will satisfy forecasted requirements for larger vessels well into the future.

The final works to reinstall the navigation aids will be completed in November.

Biosecurity levy goes back to drawing board after original design deemed unworkable

Business and industry pressure is building on the government over the biosecurity levy, which was supposed to begin on July 1 this year but was deferred until September 1 and then deferred again, indefinitely.

The design of a proposed $100 million-a-year biosecurity levy to be imposed on ships has gone back to the drawing board after the Expenditure Review Committee discussed the levy without resolution.

SAFC has opposed the levy on the basis that funds raised were not hypothecated to address biosecurity threats, but rather was directed into general revenue. Many other Associations have agreed.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Tanya Constable called on the government to strip the levy from the budget forecasts and “undertake a thorough consultation with industry.” The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has echoed those comments with ALC CEO Kirk Coningham stating that, “the Levy as originally proposed was poorly designed, was not based on a full and proper consideration of biosecurity risks and provided no guarantee that revenue raised would actually be used to enhance biosecurity measures.”

The levy in its current form would impact Australia’s international competitiveness for no demonstrable biosecurity gains. When it was originally outlined in the 2018-19 budget, it was only to be imposed on cargo ships “to enable the government to invest in measures that will help it detect, identify and respond to exotic pests and diseases earlier.” However, industry protested because of the uneven burden placed on bulk commodity importers so the government agreed to apply it to all ships which then sent the issue to the Biosecurity Levy Steering Committee.

The steering committee concluded that the “original design of the levy was unworkable in terms of the party on which the imposition was proposed, the collection mechanism suggested and the resultant burden of the levy.” It also criticised the lack of data relating to biosecurity risk upon which the levy was based noting that, “faced with the absence of appropriate data, committee members have concluded that they are not in a position to recommend the specific elements of the levy, even though the broad structure is clear.”

Mr Coningham noted that “We are pleased that the Steering Committee has supported these principles in its recommendations to the Federal Government. We also support the call for any re-designed levy proposal to be developed in collaboration with industry and subjected to a proper Regulation Impact Statement (RIS).”

“The recommendation to appoint a high-level Biosecurity Advisory Council is an especially valuable one which would allow the Government to benefit from industry’s expertise and insights when it comes to biosecurity measures and funding.

There is still no definitive time-frame around the date of the introduction of such a levy with the full Biosecurity Levy Steering Committee report available here.

KIPT redesign port proposal to address environmental concerns

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers (KIPT) have announced that they have revised the design for their proposed seaport at Smith Bay amid environmental concerns and in consideration of the neighbouring aquaculture facility.

In response to the issues raised during the public consultation process earlier this year regarding the potential impact of seabed dredging on the environment and the effects on natural coastal processes, the design has been amended to include no dredging and no solid causeway with the jetty design now featuring a full piled structure.

KIPT managing director Keith Lamb commented that “KIPT considered that the risks posed by these factors could be managed and eliminated within its original design by applying appropriate protocols and safeguards.”

KIPT has modified the design of in-water structures to eliminate any need for capital or maintenance dredging, by moving the berth face about 250m further offshore, to the natural 14m seabed contour and will utilise a fully piled jetty structure instead of a solid causeway, so that natural coastal processes will be uninterrupted. The cost of these design enhancements is estimated to be about $9 million.

KIPT has also noted that the fact that the landside part of the construction project has now been simplified because there will be no requirement for on-land dredge spoil de-watering and processing, landside works can occur simultaneously with marine construction activity, bringing forward the export of woodchips.

In its submission, Yumbah Aquaculture, the owner of the onshore abalone farm at Smith Bay, said “the only option to protect coastal currents is an open-piled jetty with the berth pocket extended further offshore.” Mr Lamb noted that KIPT had carefully considered Yumbah’s submission, “we have taken our neighbours at their word and have modified the project as they have requested, to eliminate the sources of their principal concerns. We now hope that Yumbah will withdraw its objections to our wharf, and we look forward to working co-operatively with them to deliver a great outcome for both businesses, and increased prosperity for the Island community.”

KIPT will lodge an addendum to formally modify its development application and is working with the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure on determining and completing the remaining steps in the development assessment process with the project set to create 160 direct and 74 indirect jobs, and add $53 million to the state economy each year.

Austroads study supports increasing freight vehicle width, but not enough

Earlier this year, Austroads conducted a study considering the optimum heavy freight vehicle dimensions in Australia, which is now reported as complete. The evidence supports increasing the maximum allowable heavy freight vehicle width from 2500mm to 2550mm (including attachments).

Research used New Zealand as an example as they have allowed heavy freight vehicles to operate at 2550mm without restriction since 2017 with no reported or anecdotal evidence that the wider vehicles are more likely to be involved in a crash.

Most imported heavy freight vehicles must be modified to comply with Australian standards before use as most of Australia’s trading partners regulate a maximum heavy freight vehicle width of at least 2550mm and many allow 2600mm for refrigerated vehicles.

However the Austroads study has been savaged by the Australian Trucking Association.

“It’s decisions like this that are holding our country back economically,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said.

“The ATA’s understanding is that Austroads made the same recommendation 27 years ago, in 1992.

“The ATA and industry have consistently made the case that 2.6 metre wide trucks should have been considered in this study, however Austroads have once again avoided the issue and delayed it to some distant future time,” he said.

“An increase in allowable width to 2.6 metres would enable refrigerated trucks to utilise thicker insulated walls without loss of payload. In 38 degree outside temperatures, these thicker walls would reduce heat gain by 36 per cent and deliver a fuel saving of 2500 litres per typical refrigerated vehicle, per year.

“It appears our governments are not serious about the international harmonisation of refrigerated vehicle widths, ignoring the recommendation of the expert panel inquiry on freight and supply chain priorities,” Mr Maguire said.

The ATA has called for Austroads to release its truck width study immediately.

“Austroads have announced the completion of the study without releasing the actual study,” Mr Maguire said.

“They have denied the ATA’s request for a copy. We have lodged an immediate freedom of information request, because the public and the industry have the right to know why governments are not prepared to consider this sensible approach to increasing productivity and reducing fuel consumption,” he said.

100th east coast bound train loaded as Viterra meets ongoing demand

Grain Handler Viterra has reported that it recently loaded its 100th train earlier this month with barley headed for the eastern states due to continuing domestic demand across the east coast of Australia. The train, loaded at Bowmans, was to supply feedlots in New South Wales.

The business has made significant adjustments to its supply chain notes Operations Manager Michael Hill, with the 100 train milestone the product of demand for domestic rail movements which began August last year, “we have adapted to meet the needs of the domestic market with dry conditions, particularly on the east coast, increasing the amount of grain being moved to meet stockfeed and food demand.”

Mr Hill added that “it has added a level of complexity compared to South Australia’s typically export focused market,” as they had previously only done a handful of domestic trains. He says Viterra are “very pleased with how our business has shown its flexibility.”

Viterra notes that buyers and end use customers in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland who traditionally purchase grain in the eastern states have become buyers in the Viterra system with many sourcing South Australian grain for the first time, “it has opened up new markets for South Australian growers as well as add to the already multiple buyers for growers to choose from in the Viterra system.”

Utilising key rail sites such as Gladstone, Snowtown, Bowmans, Tailem Bend and Keith to facilitate domestic trains, Viterra’s Outer Harbor, Port Giles, Port Lincoln, Thevenard and Wallaroo port terminals have vessels scheduled for September loading wheat and barley destined for various markets.

Since 2010, Viterra has spent more than $350 million on capital projects and maintenance across the SA grain handling network, and continues to invest about $40 million in the supply chain each year and are in the process of recruiting about 1500 seasonal workers to join the business and help bring in the 2019/20 season’s grain.

Safety campaign to educate on sharing the road

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has introduced a new road safety initiative designed to inform and educate caravan and recreational vehicle (RV) users about safely interacting with trucks on the road.

The “Co-exist” campaign highlights the importance of ensuring truck drivers can manage their fatigue and legal responsibilities, with a particular focus on truck rest stops and improved communication.

Research released by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia as part of the campaign showed that a quarter of caravan and RV users have stayed overnight in truck rest areas.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development Michael McCormack noted that “Co-exist” has been funded under the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) and is supported by the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government noting that trucks and RV’s are “two major groups that use Australian highways so information about sharing roads and rest facilities respectfully is critical to keeping everyone safe.”

Further research by the Caravan Industry Association of Australian showed that of 554 caranavers or RV drivers that had used a rest stop in the past 12 months; 60% had used a rest stop more than once, more than three quarters made the decision to use a rest stop when their trip was underway and more than a quarter had spent more than nine hours at a rest stop.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the partnership between the Caravan Industry Association of Australia and the heavy vehicle industry would save lives, “long haul heavy vehicle drivers are often managing fatigue and getting good quality rest is critical to keeping all road users safe,” he said, noting that the NHVR is “pleased that we’ve been able to work with the caravan industry on ways to reduce risk for holiday makers and supporting our truckies who keep Australia moving.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said he would encourage all caravaners to visit the co-exist website before they start their trip.

“Jump online, have a read and pass it on to friends because more informed and responsible drivers will contribute to safer roads and less accidents,” Mr Buchholz said, adding that he urges caravaners “to take advantage of the great facilities at camping grounds and caravan parks and give truck drivers the space to stop at roadside rest areas to ensure they have their proper break.” 

Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO Stuart Lamont said all road users had equal responsibility for road safety, “caravan and RV users value safety so this information will help them to understand how to share the road with heavy vehicles, particularly in understanding how such a large vehicle behaves,” Mr Lamont said.

Mr Lamont most importantly noted that, “when stopping for the night make sure you’re aware that truck drivers may need to use the dedicated stops to manage their fatigue hours, so plan your stops and use the appropriate areas to park and not use designated truck parking.”

To find out more about the Co-Exist campaign head to

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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