ALC boss goes out on high

Michael Kil­gar­iff moves on af­ter a decade in top job

Big Rigs - - NEWS - Brent Dav­i­son

MOST of us have heard of the Aus­tralian Lo­gis­tics Coun­cil, but it is likely few of us know what it is or what does.

In a nut­shell, the ALC is the peak na­tional body re­spon­si­ble for for­mu­lat­ing pol­icy, a freight in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion whose mem­bers span the en­tire freight sup­ply chain.

In that dry and lofty world in­hab­ited by the de­ci­sion mak­ers, the ALC de­vel­ops na­tional reg­u­la­tions and in­fra­struc­ture.

At its helm is Michael Kil­gar­iff, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, a man who has worked closely with both in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment to el­e­vate the needs of na­tional freight ef­fi­ciency and safety.

Michael took up the role in Septem­ber 2009 and in that time, he said, there had been a lot of changes.

“When I started in the job Pat Lit­tle was still run­ning Toll, Lind­say Fox was in con­trol at Lin­fox and the ports were still mostly gov­ern­ment-run,” he said.

“Now it’s all very dif­fer­ent. We are see­ing in­fra­struc­ture funds mov­ing in. It was a highly frag­mented in­dus­try but now it has a much bet­ter struc­ture.

“The high point for me was in build­ing the Aus­tralian Lo­gis­tics Coun­cil from a gov­ern­ment-funded or­gan­i­sa­tion into an or­gan­i­sa­tion largely funded by pri­vate in­dus­try and with com­plete recog­ni­tion at the high­est lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

“I hon­estly don’t think there have been too many low points.

“The Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor is prob­a­bly not the reg­u­la­tory body we thought we’d get and we still have a long way to go there, I think.

Also, the in­dus­try needs to re­main fo­cused on safety but I think it is do­ing pretty well.”

Michael said the most ef­fec­tive way to bring safety to the heavy ve­hi­cle in­dus­try was to com­ply with – and en­force if nec­es­sary – the Chain of Re­spon­si­bil­ity pro­vi­sions of the Heavy Ve­hi­cle Na­tional Law.

“I’d say the in­dus­try get­ting be­hind the changes to the laws was a very pos­i­tive thing,” he said.

“The road trans­port in­dus­try is a very frag­mented in­dus­try so it’s a credit to it that these things are hap­pen­ing.

“We (the ALC and the road trans­port in­dus­try) have had our dif­fer­ences and it could have fallen over at any time but the in­dus­try was be­hind it and it is a real credit to them.”

A cham­pion of ve­hi­cle telem­at­ics and an agreed set of na­tional op­er­at­ing stan­dards, Michael still finds it hard to un­der­stand why pa­per-based di­aries and log­books are be­ing used, and why the in­dus­try is still dis­cussing telem­at­ics while oth­ers are al­ready us­ing them.

And what has made Michael Kil­gar­iff de­cide to up stumps and move on?

“When I took up the role at the ALC I did so with the view that I was go­ing to try and make a dif­fer­ence but also that I was not go­ing to make it my life’s work,” he said.

“I think it’s bet­ter to go on a high rather than have peo­ple say­ing they wished I’d gone years ago.”

Michael will walk away from the ALC at the end July, tak­ing some per­sonal time be­fore start­ing his new job early in Septem­ber.

Blue Ar­ca­dia MD Lach­lan Ben­son has been ap­pointed as in­terim CEO.

“I’m go­ing to Roads Aus­tralia, an or­gan­i­sa­tion that rep­re­sents the road agen­cies, the con­struc­tors and the own­ers, groups like Trans Ur­ban,” Michael said.

“In some ways it is not so dif­fer­ent to the ALC.

“I want to bring the fo­cus of the freight in­dus­try into the new role. I want to re­in­force the role of the freight in­dus­try in this coun­try.”

PHOTO: PENNY BRADFIELD

HITTING THE ROAD: Out­go­ing ALC boss Michael Kil­gar­iff.

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