ALC boss goes out on high
Michael Kilgariff moves on after a decade in top job
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.”
HITTING THE ROAD: Outgoing ALC boss Michael Kilgariff.