FREIGHT NETWORK REVIEW
FREIGHT NETWORK REVIEW
First Freight Planning Congress - August 2001
Freight Network Implementation Team & Working Groups-Sept 2001-June
Second Freight Congress - June 2002
As with most capital cities, the transport of freight has become a
crucial issue, not just to the economics of the state, but to its
quality of life. There is now recognition of the importance of the
triple bottom line - social, environmental and economic impacts - in
assessing decisions relating to infrastructure and planning. The major
road transport planning for Perth was completed in the 1960s, and
although there had been periodic reviews and changes, there had not
been a major review of the framework for freight movement in the
metropolitan area. Before coming to Government, the Labor party
committed to providing opportunities for detailed community input to a
2001 Freight Planning Congress
To bring the community, industry, state and local government into
the heart of the freight planning process to establish a new framework
for freight movement in the metropolitan area and a sustainable network
- considering all the alternative options - road, rail, sea and air
- taking into account the economic, social and environmental
impacts of the different freight alternatives.
Combination of techniques:
- Consensus Forum
- Deliberative Survey (modified)
- Multi Criteria Analysis Conference
Phase 1 - Prior to Consensus Forum
Community Reference Group
Four community members representing different aspects of the
community were chosen by the Minister to form the Community Reference
Key Issues Working Party
- To oversee the freight review process from its inception
act as a sounding board at key stages, including the development of
papers and appropriate community participation at each stage of the
- To provide independent input and advice
The Working Parties consisted of representatives with a variety of
expertise from state and local government, industry and community.
To jointly write eight papers on specific issues including freight
impacts, network evolution, access by different modes, 'hotspots' and
options. The aim of including broad diversity in the development of
these papers was to ensure all viewpoints were represented rather than
necessarily reaching consensus.
Additional papers developed
Community groups developed several papers on specific freight issues
of interest to them; and a futurist consultant was asked to develop an
additional paper on a new potential freight paradigm. The Outcomes
Report from the Road Train Summit was also distributed to participants.
Freight Telephone Survey
Random and segmented population sample of one thousand (1,000) from
the larger metropolitan area
- 500 living throughout the larger metropolitan area
- 500 living on or near routes within the larger metropolitan area
which have caused community concern - 'hot spots'
To collect views of a representative population to determine:
- Issues and concerns about the routine flow of heavy trucks and
trains in the metropolitan area
- Suggestions for improvement
- Trade-offs people might be prepared to make between costs and
- The relevance of issues being covered at the Congress (enabling
modification of the agenda if necessary)
Phase 1 Learnings
The team process to develop papers had varying success. It would
appear that without first establishing trust, community, industry and
government groups find it difficult to change roles from developing
positions and lobbying for them, to becoming equal partners in a joint
developmental process. It would have been useful for an independent
facilitator to have built trust with each of the groups and ensured a
fair say for all participants. Adequate representation on the teams by
community and industry was also perceived to be a problem in some teams.
Phase 2 - Consensus Forum
The First Community Congress - (2 days)
Approximately one hundred and thirty (130) representatives of
community, industry, local / state / federal governments
- Community members responding to advertisements in state wide and
local newspapers, including key community lobby groups;
members from a random sample of residents living on or near main
freight routes as well as those not near major routes;
representatives including freight owners, operators and employees,
those working in associated industries, suppliers and customers, who
responded to the advertisements;
- Industry, safety and environmental groups who received
- Government representatives: regulators and other state and local
government officers involved who received invitations.
To gain greater community understanding of freight issues, to
determine the broad policy direction and a methodology to complete the
network where there are missing / inadequate / inappropriate links.
- Presentation of brief papers
- Questioning and
exploration of key issues through an 'expert panel' of community,
industry, local and state government representatives with freight
- Developing a common understanding of the
participants' vision of an ideal freight system and the elements that
would needed to be implement it, by each of the tables completing a
"mind map". The elements included both the 'drivers' and the 'actions'
to achieve the table's ideal system.
- Developing consensus
strategies to manage freight, improve sustainability and reduce the
impacts. To achieve this, the technique of 'Affinity Diagrams' was
used. Individuals brainstormed ideas, writing each idea onto a post-it
note. Each small team grouped its post-it notes into key themes. The
key themes from all teams were then grouped by representatives from
each team to determine the key themes of the entire room.
- Trialling of a simple multi criteria analysis methodology
to address two specific missing / inadequate / inappropriate links in
the freight network � Roe Highway and Alternatives to the Fremantle
Eastern By-pass. Components of triple bottom line criteria
(environmental, social and economic) were agreed to by each of the
teams. These were the issues to be taken into account to improve the
links in the network. Assessments were made according to potential
impacts according to each criterion, as well as the value the community
placed on each criterion
- Making suggestions on improvements
to the methodology. Participants not have sufficient detailed
information needed to make such decisions. However, the discussion and
attempts at achieving consensus on the content available and the
decision making process, were both challenging and informative.
Suggestions to improve to this methodology were collected from each
- The Report of the Congress Outcomes was sent to all participants
within two weeks of the Congress
Phase 2 Learnings
Sense of Team
The Congress was large, and the people very disparate, however, a
sense of team still pervaded, in part due to:
- the spaciousness of the venue and its aspect (the Fremantle Port
Authority Passenger Terminal overlooking the port)
placing of varying stakeholder groups at each table (each participant
was designated a table for the duration of the Congress) and
skilled facilitators at each table (Labor and Green Members of
Parliament, CEOs of related agencies, as well as several senior
departmental and local government officers).
Freight issues are broad and complex, not easy to tackle in a
relatively short period of time, with a large number of people from
very different perspectives. To address this, the Congress focused on
being inclusive, ensuring all ideas were recorded, and then jointly
grouping ideas to achieve a sense of moving forward together.
The second day of trialling a triple bottom line methodology to
examine two problematic freight links was more difficult - the issues
were emotional and complex. Actually having to address some of the
issues faced by planners, however, was determined to be constructive,
if harrowing for some.
Plan to Move Forward
The Congress was pleased with the proposed plan for teams of
participants to build on the ideas of the Congress, and to reconvene
the whole group at the end of the process to review the outcomes.
Phase 3 - Policy Development
To agree upon the key policy levers and working groups that could
best achieve the ideal freight system, based on the outcomes of the
Freight Planning Congress.
To recommend to the Congress actionable strategies and plans that would
make a significant difference to a more sustainable freight system in
The Freight Network Review Implementation Team
The Implementation Team consisted of agency planning and
infrastructure CEOs, representatives of community, including lobby
groups, local government, transport industry and other government
To build on the outcomes of the first Congress, agreeing upon the
key policy levers that would most likely bring about the changes
required by the Congress; and using the levers as the basis, to oversee
an engagement process to develop a freight strategy and action plan.
The Report of the Policy Team Outcomes (the levers), was sent to all
Congress participants three months after the first Congress.
Freight Network Review Working Parties
To bring the Policy Levers into effect, six Working Parties were
created under the umbrella of the Implementation Team including:
Sustainability; Master Planning; Increasing rail haulage to and from
Fremantle Port; Better utilising regional ports; Assessing the limits
to growth of Fremantle Port; and Hypothecation.
Representation and Brief
A CEO or Director chaired each team and a senior departmental
representative took the role of project manager. At least one other
member of the Implementation Team was represented on each Working
Party, as well as community, industry and local government
representatives who had participated in the first Congress. The Working
Parties were supported by a departmental team, which provided data and
other assistance. The Implementation Team gave each Working Party a
brief that scoped their project and a clear time-line, namely to
deliver practical recommendations to the second Freight Congress to be
held 6 months later.
To ensure the Working Parties were working holistically, the Project
Leaders met regularly and shared data and drafts of papers. Progress
reports were presented by the CEOs at Implementation Team meetings,
issues were discussed and recommendations were made back to Working
Parties. Mid term and final reports of the Working Parties were
presented to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure to enable her
to understand the issues and input the government perspective prior to
the second Freight Congress.
The Working Parties carried out their tasks effectively and
cooperatively within a very short timeframe to gather and analyse the
data, agree upon a way forward, make recommendations and concur with a
final paper. The effort and commitment, particularly from the community
representatives who were not being paid for this work, was quite
extraordinary. The final papers were deliberated at length, including
reviews by both the Minister and Implementation Team, with recommended
changes not being incorporated unless there was Working Party
Several working Parties commissioned additional consultation during
the preparation of their recommendations. This included Community Focus
Groups, a Deliberative Survey, and a large Multi Criteria Analysis
Conference to determine an east west freight route through to Fremantle
Deliberative Survey (modified)
A deliberative survey involves a representative, statistically
significant, random sample of the population, who are surveyed on an
issue before and after informed discussion.
The advantage of the deliberative survey is that it enables decision
makers to know what an informed public thinks about an issue and why.
In this instance, the deliberative survey was modified so participants
were only surveyed once, after reading comprehensive information and
having opportunities to discuss the issues with friends and family as
well as access to a 'hotline' and web site.
The deliberative survey focused on the community's perceptions of
the limits to growth of the Fremantle Inner Harbour.
A community focus group was held to determine issues of significance
to the community regarding Fremantle Inner Harbour limits to growth.
Using this data, members of the Limits to Growth Working Party
developed the survey questions with the assistance of an independent
The Working Party agreed upon the geographical boundaries for the
survey sample. In addition, they oversaw the development of the
information package to ensure it was a fair representation of the views
of the key stakeholders.
Participants were sent an information package with briefing papers
from each of the major stakeholders - the port authority, the local
council and community groups. Recipients were asked to read the
information, discuss the issues with family and colleagues, ring an
information line or log onto the web to get further information, and
then complete the survey.
An independent consultant administered the survey, analysed the
results, and wrote the final report for the Working Party.
Deliberative Survey Learnings
Although the survey produced very useful results, the full
deliberative survey would have provided important information on
whether participants changed their views as a result of information and
deliberation. In particular, it could have highlighted what information
was important, and whether informed dialogue was significant in
Multi Criteria Analysis Conference
The Sustainability Working Party recommended carrying out a
community centred process to determine freight network options
according to the triple bottom line. The sustainability technique
recommended was the Multi Criteria Analysis. An independent consultant,
experienced in Multi Criteria Analysis both in Australia and abroad,
was recommended to carry out the process
A Multi Criteria Analysis is a decision-aiding technique to analyse
alternatives to complex problems using weighted triple bottom line
criteria that are developed by all stakeholders. The end result is the
'best fit' option.
The process is systematic, structured, open and accountable. It
engages all key stakeholders with their differing objectives. Both
technical data and value judgements are used to reach a preference.
Multi-Criteria Analysis Workshops were held to determine the best
option for an east-west route from Roe Highway Stage 6 through to the
The MCA process has four key components:
- A set of alternative options
- A set of criteria for comparing the alternatives
- Weighting to attach a measure of importance to each criteria
- A method of ranking the alternatives based on how well they
satisfy the criteria
The process involves four key steps:
MCA Steering Group
- Preparation and involvement of the community from the start;
- An initial Workshop of all participants to determine the options
Expert Panel to oversee the quantitative data and to rate the
qualitative data, with both sets of data being input to the computer;
second Workshop of all participants to weight the criteria according to
their importance. Using both the quantitative and qualitative data,
together with the value judgement weightings, the computer software
determines the best options.
A Steering Group of community, industry and government
representatives was established to oversee the MCA process. The
Steering Group signed off on the final list of options, criteria and
MCA Conference Representation
All 120 Congress participants were invited to attend the MCA
Workshops. 80 participated, attending both Workshops. Participants were
seated at facilitated tables of ten.
The Expert Panel consisted of 15 members, including professional,
academics, industry and community people with environmental, economic
and social value skills.
Public input to Options
Through advertisements in weekly and Saturday newspapers, members of
the public were invited to submit suggested route options. There were
120 submissions. The public suggestions were analysed by the Department
for Planning and Infrastructure, and a synopsis of potential routes was
MCA Workshop 1
At the first Workshop, the MCA consultant explained each of the
steps in the process and the methods of scoring options. The Dept. for
Planning and Infrastructure presented the synopsis of the public
options, as well as several options previously developed by the Main
Roads Department. Maps outlining each of the options were available on
Workshop participants then developed additional options. In total,
twenty one options were identified, comprising five options for Roe
Highway Stage 7, two options for freight only roads, eight options to
upgrade existing roads between Kwinana Freeway and Stock Road, and six
options for new Roe Highway Stage 8 alignments.
Finally, Triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental)
criteria were developed by the Workshop. These were the criteria to be
used to evaluate each option. In total, thirty nine criteria were
developed. Each criterion was defined by the Workshop.
MCA Expert Panel
The Expert Panel members received comprehensive documentation,
including reports, documents, expert opinion and raw data required to
make a reasoned assessment. Consultants and other experts were
available to answer any questions. Additional data was gathered when
requested. The Expert Panel met several times over a three month period
to evaluate the options against the criteria.
Where quantitative data was available (eg number of houses
demolished, costs, CO2 emissions, hectares of bushland impacted),
Expert Panel members overviewed it for accuracy and reliability. Where
only qualitative scoring was feasible (eg impact on safety, impact on
endangered species, disruption), Expert Panel members scored the
options against the criteria.
MCA Workshop 2
Before the second Workshop, the final list of options, criteria and
definitions were distributed to all participants. At the Workshop,
participants discussed the information received, and individually
weighted each criterion according to its importance. To enable a
sensitivity analysis of particular groupings, participants divided into
four groups to input their data � those who in this instance were
putting the greatest emphasis on social, economic, environmental, or
Following the computer analysis, the preferential ordering of
options was displayed and discussed.
A debriefing session was held of the Steering Group and Expert
Panel. A large number of suggestions were made for consideration in
future processes including:
- Participation - two viewpoints were expressed. Participants
suggested including fewer people with balanced representation. The MCA
consultant suggested not limiting attendance at all, including
community members who had not participated in the earlier two day
- Timing - allowing more time at Workshop 1 for the
definitions of the criteria to be discussed. Much of this work had to
be completed after the Workshop, following up wherever possible with
those who had suggested the options.
- Limiting options and
criteria - with 21 options and 39 criteria, the reality of time
constraints meant that scoring was done quickly in some instances, and
was hugely costly in others. One possible solution was to group options
into like types so 'strategic evaluation' could have been carried out.
An alternative suggestion was to have a 'no go' option for each
criterion, so options that would clearly not survive a triple bottom
line analysis could be disallowed without further analysis. The MCA
consultant, however, thought otherwise - that the value in the process
was the opportunity it gave to find unrestricted, creative alternatives
The Report of the Freight Network Review Working Parties was sent to
all Congress participants six months after the first Congress
Phase 4 - Consensus Forum
The 2nd Congress - Consensus Forum (1 Day)
All participants from the first Congress were invited back to
participate in the 2nd Congress. Of the one hundred and thirty (130)
participants from the first Congress, approximately one hundred and
twenty (120) attended
To review the outcomes of the Freight Network Planning Working
Groups, determine the level of support, the gaps that still needed to
be addressed, and what needed to be done first.
Prior to 2nd Congress
Reports from the six Working Groups were sent to all participants a
week prior to the 2nd Congress. It was requested that the reports be
read before the Congress and questions noted to ask on the day
For the benefit of participants, new train technology - the Cargo
Sprinter - was brought to WA to the rail station close to the Congress,
in order to demonstrate its freight potential.
The Congress began with an overview of all the work done since the
1st Congress. A representative of each Working Group presented a
synopsis of the team's process and recommendations. Presenters then
formed a panel to respond to questions.
Participants at small tables discussed the extent to which the
recommendations were supported and additional issues needed to be taken
into account. At a plenary session, the most important issues were
Again in small groups, participants discussed the gaps in the
Freight Network Planning thus far. The extent to which the Policy
Levers were addressed was discussed, together with any additional
Policy Levers. At the plenary session, the most important Policy Lever
issues were highlighted.
The small interactive groups then focussed on priorities and timing.
There was discussion on what should be done in the first twelve months.
The plenary then determined the timing priorities.
The Minister closed the day outlining the process to follow. This
included the continuation of the community / industry / government
Implementation Team, charged with overseeing the implementation of the
key recommendations of the Congress. She also informed participants
that they would receive updates describing what had been achieved and
what was still to be done.
An Outcomes Report of the 2nd Congress was sent to all Congress
participants. This Report included policy lever areas needing to be
addressed and why; the review of the Working Party recommendations
outlining the issue, its importance, why it was important and how it
could be resolved; and the top 15 priorities from the Master Plan
Regular Freight Review Progress Updates have been sent to all
participants. The 'Six Point Plan', developed by the Implementation
Team and accepted by Government, has become the major focus. This Six
Point Plan is a broad-sweeping agenda for Government over the next
decade to shift the focus of freight to more sustainable options. To
date, the implementation of the recommended actions is on track and on
2nd Freight Congress and Freight Network Review Learnings
- The 2nd Congress gave a sense of closure and celebration of an
extensive amount of work done by many of the participants;
importantly, it allowed participants to see that their input had been
meaningful, in that specific actions were being taken on their behalf;
of the participants of the Freight Network Review have become the key
protagonists for the strategy, taking its rationale to the public at
every opportunity, and highlighting the fairness and comprehensiveness
of the consultation process;
- Some aspects of this strategy
have become mired in party political debate, have inspired heated
public discussions, endless letters to the newspapers and public
demonstrations, pro and con. Unfortunately, information from the
Congress, made widely available on Web, has sometimes been taken out of
context and misinterpreted. This has not helped public understanding.
Local Impacts Committee, chaired by a local member of parliament and
consisting of the key stakeholders pro and against the Congress
outcomes has been meeting for over two years to try to resolve some of
the road impact issues. It has been a difficult, slow, sometimes
- The Freight Network Review has highlighted
the difficulty of bringing the broad public together with an extensive
consultation process when the issues and outcomes are contentious.
While long term sustainability practices may be in the interests of the
larger community, it is exceptionally difficult when they are not in
the interests of specific residential groups.