The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) today welcomed the release of the National Infrastructure Plan which provides a comprehensive national approach to Australia’s infrastructure requirements.

AFGC CEO Mr Gary Dawson said that it was particularly pleasing that Infrastructure Australia explicitly recognised the importance of infrastructure for Australian businesses exporting to the world.

“Australia’s agri-food sector is spread across the entire continent and is a key economic driver in many rural, regional and metropolitan communities. With more than 60 per cent of agricultural production exported, and significant growth in Australia’s food exports, efficient and effective infrastructure is vital for continued economic growth and jobs,” said Mr Dawson.

“The AFGC strongly supports the development of a national freight and supply chain strategy to identify and support nationally significant supply chains. The efficient movement of goods to market improves returns to farmers and manufacturers through better utilisation of vehicle capacity.”

“First mile constraints are a constant problem for the agri-food sector. Targeted investment to reduce these constraints on access to water, energy, transport and telecommunications infrastructure will improve the utilisation of existing facilities, reduce maintenance costs, and improve efficiencies across the supply chain.

“The infrastructure plan identifies that there are a number of regions which are key to national growth. These are economic engine rooms dispersed throughout the country. It is vital that we build on regional successes and facilitate continued growth through appropriate infrastructure. Coordinated long term regional infrastructure plans are key to supporting growth.

“The impact of technology is clearly demonstrated with CSIRO’s Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TRANSIT). The ongoing development of TRANSIT to map agri-food supply chains across Australia is vital to identifying bottlenecks, considering infrastructure options and identifying projects with the greatest economic benefit.

“The National Infrastructure Plan provides a national framework to implement long term infrastructure plans, construction and maintenance. With productivity a key challenge, the plan is expected to provide a boost of nearly $3,000 to every Australian household by 2040,” said Mr Dawson.



AFGC Media Contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002