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  • Freight Futures Victorian Freight Network Strategy for a more prosperous and liveable Victoria

  • The ability to move goods effi ciently, seamlessly and sustainably around Victoria makes a signifi cant contribution to the prosperity and liveability of our State.

    Transport costs fl ow directly on to the costs of everyday goods on our supermarket shelves and affect the competitiveness of our export businesses.

    The location of freight activity areas and the way we move goods between them – the modes, the types of vehicles, the routes and the times of day – can also have a signifi cant impact on the amenity of particular communities and the liveability of the State generally.

    As Victoria’s population and economy continue to grow strongly, so does the size of the freight task, placing added pressure on existing infrastructure and systems and requiring us to look to the future to ensure that we make the right decisions now.

    For these reasons, all Victorians have an interest in ensuring that our freight networks, systems and infrastructure continue to perform well in meeting the current and future freight task.

    Freight Futures is the Victorian Government’s long term plan for achieving this objective.

    Freight Futures recognises that the movement of freight is primarily a private sector activity and that the Government’s role is best focussed on aspects of the task on which it can have a material and benefi cial impact.

    For this reason, Freight Futures does not attempt to address every aspect of freight supply chain development and management, but rather focuses on the freight network – its planning, delivery and management.

    The Victorian Government, in close cooperation with industry and other levels of Government, has a clear responsibility for ensuring that each of these aspects of the freight task are properly addressed and supported.

    Minister’s Message

  • Over the past two years, I have spent considerable time and energy discussing and debating with industry, local government and community stakeholders the problems and issues confronting Victoria’s freight network and how we might best work cooperatively to build an effi cient and sustainable future.

    I believe Freight Futures refl ects the positive outcomes of this engagement and reinforces the need to continue such processes as we move forward into delivery, review and refi nement stages.

    Of particular importance in delivering Freight Futures will be the need to engage with the exciting new national infrastructure agenda being created by the Commonwealth Government. Much of the signifi cant investment which will be required to implement Freight Futures will be of a scale which is beyond the capacity of any one State to resource alone. This is particularly the case in relation to the major capital infrastructure investments recommended by Sir Rod Eddington’s report, Investing in Transport.

    I believe the directions and initiatives in Freight Futures are entirely consistent with the Commonwealth Government’s new agenda and the key recommendations of Investing in Transport and I look forward to a productive partnership with our Commonwealth counterparts in implementing this new agenda.

    A key feature of Victoria’s freight network is that most of it is a shared network, whether it is trucks with private vehicles on our freeways and arterial roads, or freight trains with passenger trains on the public transport system. Generally, this shared approach is the best means of optimising the utilisation of our freight network. However, it does mean a cooperative approach to the freight and passenger interfaces in the more densely traffi cked parts of the network in the metropolitan area will become increasingly important in the early resolution of potential issues and achieving the best possible utilization of our valuable transport infrastructure.

    In developing Freight Futures, we have looked closely at approaches adopted in other jurisdictions, both in Australia and internationally. While this has been useful in understanding the range of possible options available to us, it has not replaced the need for us to tailor an approach which is quite specifi c to Victoria, recognising our place in the national and global economies, our previous patterns of infrastructure investment and our own community attitudes and aspirations.

    Freight Futures forms an important companion document to The Victorian Transport Plan and was developed in close collaboration with that document. It is both consistent with The Victorian Transport Plan and provides detailed support and elaboration of the Government’s thinking in relation to freight in the Plan.

    I look forward now to getting on with the job of implementing the Freight Futures vision and Strategic Directions. It is clear we have a major task ahead of us, but a task that can’t be deferred if we are to maintain Victoria’s position as the nation’s pre-eminent freight State.

    Tim Pallas Minister for Roads and Ports

  • This publication is copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968.

    © State of Victoria 2008

    Authorised by Tim Pallas, 121 Exhibition St Melbourne VIC 3002.

    Designed by Design and Production Unit, Corporate Public Affairs, Department of Transport.

    Printed by Impact Digital, Unit 3-4, 306 Albert St, Brunswick VIC 3056.

    If you would like to receive this publication in an accessible format, such as large print or audio please telephone Public Affairs Branch on (03) 9655 6000.

  • Freight Futures Victorian Freight Network Strategy 1


    Minister’s Message

    Introduction 3 • The need for a Victorian Freight Network Strategy 3

    • The policy context 4

    • A partnership approach 5

    Goals, Objectives and Priorities 7 • Goals 7

    • Objectives 7

    • Priorities 7

    The Freight Challenge 9 • Drivers of change in the freight industry 9

    • An overview of the Victorian Freight Story 13

    Responding to the Challenge 19

    Strategic Directions 23 • Planning and protecting the freight network 24

    • Building and maintaining the freight network 46

    • Managing and regulating the freight network 62

    Delivering Freight Futures 79 • Implementing Freight Futures in partnership with stakeholders 79

    • Working with the Commonwealth Government 80

    Appendix 1: The Victorian Freight Story – Metropolitan 83

    Appendix 2: The Victorian Freight Story – Regional 89

    Appendix 3: Freight Facts and Projections 93

    Glossary of Terms 95

  • Freight Futures Victorian Freight Network Strategy 3


    The need for a Victorian Freight Network Strategy Future growth in the Victorian economy will generate signifi cant increases in the volume of freight moving around the state, as well as the distances travelled on the freight network. This strong growth has many implications for Victoria and the national economy.

    By 2036, Victoria will have a population approaching seven million. This will generate signifi cant growth in personal travel and freight movements, and increased demand for goods and services. Combined with increasing competition for the supply of goods from interstate and overseas, this growth presents a core challenge for the Victorian economy and for the state’s freight, distribution and logistics industry.

    By 2025, the number of kilometres travelled by road freight vehicles is expected to increase by 70 per cent, with 60 per cent more vehicles on Victoria’s roads. By 2035, the Port of Melbourne is expected to be handling up to eight million standard (twenty foot equivalent) containers per year, four times the current level of two million containers.

    In Victoria, freight transport and logistics activities contribute an estimated 14.7 per cent to Gross State Product and 334,000 jobs in freight and logistics activities across all industry sectors. The freight and logistics industry is not only a major part of the Victorian economy; it also supports other industries critical to the national economy, including manufacturing, services and agriculture.

    Ensuring that these industries have access to, and are able to operate on, a sustainable and effi cient freight network is critical.

    The effi cient movement of freight in a sustainable way is vital to maintaining the liveability of Victoria’s cities and towns, with the standard of living and quality of life currently enjoyed by Victorians dependent upon being able to access goods and services in a timely and cost effective manner.

    At the same time, the movement of large numbers of vehicles carrying freight through towns and cities has an impact on the environment and the amenity of some residential areas.

    Population growth and increased economic activity will also increase road congestion. Congestion erodes liveability, hinders the effi cient movement of freight and imposes substantial economic costs.

    Victoria needs an effi cient and reliable freight distribution network – a network that will keep pace with Australia’s future economic and population growth, while matching community expectations that freight will be moved around the state safely and sustainably.

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    The purpose of the Strategy The Victorian Government is committed to ensuring that a high quality, high capacity, well connected, fl

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