A day of industry champions
Day Two of Informa’s Queensland Transport Infrastructure Summit provided a look at the Federal Government’s role in freight and transport planning; developments towards integrated freight and intelligent transport; a look at where the money comes from and project updates from the airport, port and rail industries.
It was a day of industry champions, starting with the chair, Victor Gado, whose extensive experience in logistics and supply chain management both in the private and public sectors for retail, manufacturing, coal and construction provided a practical basis to his reflections throughout the day.
Victor’s belief in the collaboration and increased awareness necessary to address the challenges ahead was also highlighted in the opening keynote provided by Lyn O’Connell Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Transport
At a state-specific level, discussion can sometimes easily slip down the ‘blame the Feds’ slide and if politicians naturally blame everyone else, then Federal Government representatives can sometimes find themselves in open target range for questions on investment.
Lyn, whose responsibilities include Australia’s investment in infrastructure through the Nation Building Program and advising Government on transport policy and regulation, provided a detailed talk on the Commonwealth’s Infrastructure Investment Framework and stood her guard in fielding honest responses to the many audience questions.
With the announcement of the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax still hot off the press another brave woman, the Australian Greens Senator, Larissa Waters addressed the “historic” implications and benefits of the Carbon Tax within the broader context of sustainability. Larissa provided a behind-the-scenes review of the negotiation processes involved with agreeing on the package details, especially with respect to the exclusion of transport fuel and the 3 year fossil fuel excise review by the Productivity Commission
“While the Greens would have loved to see transport properly included in carbon pricing, and wanted to deliver big investments in high speed rail and commuter public transport through this package, we are pleased with progress on fossil fuel subsidies, fuel excise and efficiency standards.”
It’ll be interesting to watch this develop from negotiation to implementation and more importantly, to monitor the success of these initiatives against our carbon and economic footprints. To relieve concerns about the impact of the carbon scheme for the State, Senator Waters reassured the audience that the Queensland economy is still expected to grow by 300% by 2050.
Larissa Waters is the first Australian Greens Senator for Queensland and as a Brisbane resident, her passions and concerns were both local and global. This was a great industry introduction to Larissa who announced that in the Senate she will move amendments to federal laws to better protect the Great Barrier Reef , promote renewable energy, and protect good quality agricultural land from incompatible land uses
Following on from the Greens’ plans for putting Australia on the road to cleaner transport, Accenture Australia’s Sim Howe Chai, Director, Infrastructure & Transportation Services Industry, discussed the Intelligent Infrastructure Business Platform . This platform details a plan that’s sustainable and attractive to citizens and businesses. Download the video transcript here
Talk about investment, sustainability and business platforms was aptly contextualized by the scale and necessary planning provided by briefs from Neil Findlay, Chairman, Queensland Transport and Logistics Council (QTLC); Alan Copeland, Senior Commodity Analyst, Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics and the Queensland Treasury Corporation’s, Rupert Haywood. Here’s just one figure to show you the money! As of April 2011, the value of coal projects under construction in Queensland was AUD$173.5bn. For the latest economic analysis visit the newly created BREE site . The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics is an economic research unit within the Australian Government Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
Given the scale of infrastructure tasks and the necessary resources, coupled by the population influx and urban development, Queensland Transport Logistics Council has the vital task of integrating freight in this state of growth.
The second part of the part focussed on specific project updates with spotlights on:
- The Brisbane Airport Link
- Australia’s third busiest container port, the Port of Brisbane
- North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation’s (NQBP) responses to the opportunities and growth in bulk cargo. NQBP is one of Australia’s largest port authorities by tonnage throughput and more than half of Queensland’s trade, by tonnage, passes through its ports
- Project Iron Boomerang. Shane Condon, the Project Founder and Managing Director of East West Line Parks, delivered a passionate update on this nation-building infrastructure project designed to underpin investment by global steel companies adding major value to steel industry initiative, consisting of new smelter industrial parks in Australia.
- Pacific National’s use of new diesel-powered trains
- QR National’s strategy for working smarter and getting more for less: how working as an integrated supply chain and getting more out of existing assets can increase capacity on coal supply chains
It was refreshing to end such a ‘big picture’ day with John McMahon’s story of the developments for the Summerdowns Rail Terminal. John has been a Real Estate and Stock & Station agent since 1980 and started John McMahon Realty itself in 1992. John comes from a family background in Primary Production activities, Real Estate and Stock & Station Agencies. His family have been in the northern rivers area since the early 1900’s and through five generations of experience, has come to hold a high level of local knowledge of all aspects of the community and built strong networks during this process.
John has seen many changes in the local area, in particular, witnessing the decline of multi modal freight utilisation. Casino was previously a very active town with multiple freight modes available – road, rail, air and river. Through application of knowledge and network, John has seen opportunity now for alternate freight methods to be revitalised and purchased the property known as “Summerdowns” in 1994 with the vision of establishing a multi-modal freight terminal.
Finally, we’d like to again thank everyone for their support. AUD$1400 was raised from the early bird registrations for the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal The Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal has helped Queenslanders affected by flooding in early 2011 and Tropical Cyclone Yasi and the appeal remains open until 31 December 2011.
Look forward to seeing you at next year’s event!
To read Part 1 of the article, click here