Transformed freight vision can supercharge Victorian economy

Media Releases » Transformed freight vision can supercharge Victorian economy

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says the Victorian agriculture industry can propel the state’s economy and surpass $20 billion dollars of food and fibre exports by 2030 if the Victorian Government focusses on road maintenance, lowering costs and improving freight efficiency.

In a submission to the Refresh of the Victorian Freight Strategy, VFF President Emma Germano said having a plan to maintain and fix regional roads would be key to reinforcing agriculture as Victoria’s largest exporter by value and sustain the more than 154,000 people directly employed by the industry.

“Victoria has the worst roads in the country. The freight strategy must set a vision for us to have the best roads in Australia.”

“The total neglect of regional roads has happened in part because the previous freight strategy never identified maintenance as a priority. That is despite it having been a key ask of all freight and transport industry stakeholders.” 

“To continue to supply good quality, well-priced products for consumers here and abroad it’s absolutely vital we have a concrete vision that improves the efficient movement of food and fibre.”

Ms Germano added that a combination of infrastructure investment, maintenance and regulatory reform will be needed to realise the full potential of a new strategy.

“Victoria’s new freight strategy must include a dedicated piece focusing on agricultural freight. Transporting produce through our supply chains represents one of the most significant costs to Victorian farmers. Not only do we feel that squeeze on farm, it drives investment away from our state and our industry.”  

“Rising costs across the supply chain are making Victorian food and fibre less competitive. Terminal access charges for one of the stevedores at the Port of Melbourne have increased by 52.52% in Melbourne, compared with 38.8% in Sydney and 37.5% in Brisbane this year.”

“The cost of not planning for the future would be enormous. The demand for food and fibre is growing exponentially both domestically and overseas and now is to set the foundations for a modern and efficient freight system that delivers for the decades ahead,” Ms Germano said.

Click here to read the VFF’s full submission to the Refresh of the Victorian Freight Strategy.