Tasmania's freight blueprint revealed

DRAFTING a freight strategy, listening to the advice of advisory groups and maintaining another freight advisory group are the key recommendations of a year-long review of Tasmania's freight system, due to go before cabinet today.

The $1.5 million Freight Logistics Co-ordination Team made 11 recommendations in its final report to government, which is expected to be released this week.

However business has signalled it may be disappointed with the recommendations with only two - recommending the sale or lease of government-owned assets to the private sector and implementing a single planning zone for major freight corridors and infrastructure - recommending positive action.

The full list of recommendations, obtained by The Examiner, includes drafting a freight strategy by June 30, with the help of a high-level public-private advisory group such as the co-ordination team itself.

Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey said he had not seen the recommendations, but the business community would be disappointed if the lengthy review process hadn't produced solid outcomes.

Mr Bailey said bringing down the cost of freight was an urgent problem for Tasmania and required short-term intervention as well as long-term restructure.

``I would hope that there would be some meaty recommendations out of this body of work,'' Mr Bailey said.

``I think calling for another report will cause some frustration in the business community.''

Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne said the co-ordination team was set up to ``guide the completion of a long-term freight strategy'' and provide information about supply-chain issues.

``There is no silver bullet solution to the challenges Tasmania faces as an island state, but the work undertaken by the FLCT, the first time in a generation that work of this kind and significance has occurred, gives us the evidence to genuinely develop real and sustainable solutions,'' Mr O'Byrne said.

Opposition infrastructure spokesman Rene Hidding accused the government of wasting time.

``Freight is one of the most important issues facing Tasmania and after two and a half years and millions of dollars, Labor still doesn't have a solution,'' Mr Hidding said.

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