On Friday 4 November, the Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese will be meeting with all the State and Territory Ministers in the ‘Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure’.
High on their agenda will be the National Regulator, as well as A-Trailers and other charging matters.
Minister Albanese has done a remarkable thing: he’s invited three industry observers to sit in, all day, during the Ministers’ meeting.
The invitations have gone out to Andrew Ethell, the Deputy Chairman of the Australian Logistics Council; David Simon, the Chair of the ATA; and to me, as the lobbyist for the ALRTA.
All three of us have been delighted to accept. (Naturally, I asked National President John Beer if it was ok before doing so. John’s response can be translated as ‘yes, you may indeed do that, and please hurry along with it, Phil’).
Andrew, David and I will be making sure that we go into this meeting with a coordinated plan of attack, in just the same way that the ALC, ATA and ALRTA worked as an whole-of-industry team at the Federal Government’s Tax Forum earlier this month.
But what’s really important here is not how we’ll handle the meeting.
The invitation itself is an important message from Minister Albanese: to industry, and especially to the State and Territory governments.
In my view, this gesture is a very clear sign from Minister Albanese that he’s expecting to see some real progress made on the 4 November.