QUEENSLAND'S crucial freight system has taken a historic step forward with the release of the first Integrated Freight Strategy, mapping the future of the industry that is critical to the state economy.
Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said the strategy represented a comprehensive path forward for the state's freight system.
"If we don't enhance the movement of freight in Queensland, we don't keep the economy running at full steam so the release of this first strategy today is a major step forward in supporting economic growth," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"The Integrated Freight Strategy provides clear direction for improving Queensland's freight system, as well as analysing how we can maximise the output from the existing transport system.
"Queensland's population is growing rapidly, with 100,000 new residents calling Queensland home every year and the current population forecast to grow by over two million people by 2031.
"In 2009 the estimated freight volume in Queensland was 865 million tonnes a year - by 2031 the expected growth in freight tonnage is estimated to be between 1.8 billion to 2.2 billion tonnes a year
"This extraordinary growth will lead to increasing demand for freight, placing pressure on the transport system and potentially impacting on the competitiveness of Queensland industry.
"This strategy is about getting on the front foot with this growing freight movement and putting actions in place to deal with it."
Main Roads and Marine Infrastructure Minister Craig Wallace said the strategy was developed by Transport and Main Roads after extensive consultation including input from the industry.
"The strategy will inform government policy, regulation and investment and influence industry operations and decisions," Mr Wallace said.
"The strategy also reflects the importance of the relationship and linkages at the national, regional and local level of our total transport system and will inform Queensland's input to the Commonwealth's draft National Land Freight Strategy discussion paper.
"The strategy provides a high-level framework to inform the development of more efficient freight solutions for the future. Ultimately, those solutions must be safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable."
Mark Johnston, director and deputy chair of Queensland Trucking and Logistics Council, said: "This is a very important document, it's a long time coming and there's been a lot of effort put into it. It sets the foundation for industry and government to develop and implement strategies for the future."
Peter Garske, CEO of Queensland Trucking Association, said: "It is important that the Queensland Government support the transport and logistics council in the design, drafting and ... implementation of a freight strategy."
The Integrated Freight Strategy for Queensland is available on the Transport and Main Roads website at www.tmr.qld.gov.au.
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