National Land Freight Strategy - Infrastructure Australia

National Land Freight Strategy - Infrastructure Australia

Encroachment of freight activities

Urban encroachment is one of the most substantial constraints to freight. It leads to

community sentiment against freight activities. Encroachment relates to the interaction of

freight and land uses. This issue was highlighted in the proposed national ports strategy and

also occurs in relation to freight that is not port related.

Given growth in both population and freight, especially in cities, the importance of resolving

issues concerning such interactions is likely to increase. Therefore, better integration of

freight transport and land use planning is important for productivity, as well as for amenity.

Better integration may also assist to address some ‘last mile’ issues.

Options to address encroachment include:

1. reliance on existing mechanisms, including, for example, the Council of Australian

Governments cities agenda. While the cities agenda may be relevant to freight, the

current agreement relates to the process rather than the results of planning.

2. freight ‘policy veto’ on certain planning decisions that may lead to encroachment. This

would be difficult to frame and implement, and is wholly reliant on jurisdictions. Such a

process may not result in greater community support for the efficient conduct of freight


3. freight purchase of lands to provide adequate buffers for all existing and prospective

operations. This is unlikely to be feasible in cost terms and may encourage perverse


4. publication of an indicative strategy document/map showing likely major freight routes and

precincts, and reference of this document in relevant jurisdictional planning documents as

envisaged in the proposed national ports strategy.

Infrastructure Australia prefers option 4 as it appears to be the most feasible route for


Uncertainty about capacity for growth

There is uncertainty about the long term adequacy / availability of transport infrastructure

capacity for freight. This has implications for private investment in freight generating and

other activities, and may have implications for the costs of providing infrastructure in the

future, for example if appropriate corridor reservations are not made. Influences include the

continued growth in demand for use of infrastructure shared by personal and freight transport,

and absence of a market mechanism for the supply of road infrastructure services.

Infrastructure which is built may be fully utilised by personal transport.

There are a number of medium term freight plans and studies, and national aggregate freight

forecasts. However, there is no consolidated Australia wide view as to whether, where or to

what degree freight is likely to be constrained in the future, especially on networks used jointly

with personal transport.


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