The Victorian Transport Authority (VTA) has called for the introduction of a Victorian Freight Authority to advise the State Government on the unique needs of the infrastructure and transport industries.
VTA Chief executive officer Peter Anderson said the VTA has been advocating for policy that supports operators to be successful in business, whether it be new road, rail and port infrastructure to streamline the freight task.
“The requirements of operators need to be factored early on in decisions being made by regulators and legislators, which is why are pushing for the creation of an authority like this to ensure your unique needs are being looked after,” Mr Anderson said.
The VTA has been calling for new road projects, especially in Victoria where a major new freeway hasn’t been built for over a decade.
“For a city like Melbourne that is adding nearly 2000 new residents a week, this is unacceptable,” Mr Anderson said.
“So, we look forward to helping create the conditions for new projects to get underway and helping opposing groups working through differences, so we can get the modern, safe and efficient transport networks we need for our industry and the broader economy to prosper.”
Mr Anderson said there is a lot happening to put upward pressure on costs for operators
“In year’s gone past, operators would typically wear the increases rather than risk losing business to competitors. We need to shift this attitude and educate not only customers, but consumers as well, that increases in costs are going to be passed on through the supply chain, and ultimately to the end users of the goods transported by operators,” he said.
“If we don’t do this there’s a real risk that operators will not have cost recovery increases accepted and will therefore go under, which is not good for anyone.”
Mr Anderson said the VTA continues to do much work to encourage better driver standards.
“The training and education programs we are running with the support of the Victorian Government have been warmly embraced by industry. Our Transition to Transport program is helping to educate new participants in the industry about the complexities of supply chain logistics, and our Driver Delivery program is helping to attract and train new drivers, and place them in paid employment,” he said.
Mr Anderson said heavy vehicle licensing and assessment is a key activity for the VTA, upon which outcomes of competency-based training including skills and attitude will see current processes reviewed to bring a higher standard of skill, and a lower driving age for heavy vehicle drivers in our industry.
“The system we have now does not reflect the standards of safety, skill and competency the industry and the community now demand. These processes have not been reviewed to this scale for decades and we are looking for Victoria to lead the way, with the full support of the transport industry,” he said.