The efficient movement of freight is essential in a national economy but bottlenecks and pinchpoints on local road networks are increasing the time it takes for freight to travel from sender to receiver.
ALGA is calling for the next Federal Government to fund a Local Government Higher Productivity Investment Plan starting at $200 million per annum over five years to help councils address this important issue.
Local government roads and bridges in general were designed and built decades ago and are no longer fit for purpose. As a result, vehicle access to parts of the local road network is more limited as road providers try to balance access with protection of the road assets from vehicle damage.
Limited access frequently requires high productivity vehicles to ‘break down’ to smaller configurations at the start or end of the journey. This requires drivers to depart production facilities with only one trailer attached and drive to a suitable assembly point adjacent to an approved high productivity road before returning to collect subsequent trailers, and then assembling it all in a double or triple configuration. This process negates some of the benefits of higher mass limit reforms.
Many councils have demonstrated their willingness, capacity and competence to undertake regional planning on behalf of their region. These regional plans could be developed in all regions and can provide the basic building blocks for project identification, prioritisation and investment, to drive productivity improvements across council boundaries and in some cases jurisdictional boundaries.
A Local Government Higher Productivity Investment Plan funded at $200 million per annum over five years could see a $1.66 billion cumulative Gross Domestic Product benefit by year 3 and 2,300 new jobs.
Find out more about this and other federal election initiatives from ALGA at www.allpoliticsislocal.com.au