​​Media Release

​Mapping the agriculture infrastructure of the future

3 February 2016

The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to expand the CSIRO’s TRAnsport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TRANSIT) to inform transport infrastructure investment decisions across the agriculture sector.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said TRANSIT was an invaluable tool in supporting evidence-based infrastructure investment decisions.

“TRANSIT currently has applications for all northern livestock logistics. This $1 million expansion will see the tool’s applications extended to cover about 25 agricultural commodities, representing more than 95 per cent of Australia’s agricultural transport volume,” Minister Joyce said.

Work is ahead of schedule to analyse the supply chains for grains (including wheat, barley, oats, lentils, chickpeas and canola), dairy, rice, cotton, pigs and sugar.

“Across our vast land, agriculture supply chains often span distances of more than 1000 kilometres, and transport costs can account for up to 40 per cent of the market price, squeezing profits at the farmgate.

“Investment in supply chain infrastructure is crucial to the ability of our agriculture sector to remain competitive and profitable, and to capture the significant opportunities presented by increasing food demand in Asia—but it is important that this investment is evidence based and delivers the greatest possible benefit to industry.​

“TRANSIT is capable of analysing large and small scale investments in the agriculture supply chain, and is an invaluable tool in ensuring that investments in infrastructure will deliver maximum productivity and profitability benefits.

“The tool works by analysing possible combinations of transport routes and methods, and determining those that optimise vehicle movements between enterprises in the agriculture supply chain, to inform investment decisions.

“This work complements the government’s broader investments in infrastructure that will support agricultural growth, including the $100 million Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund—which will be informed by TRANSIT data—and the $500 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

“The expansion of TRANSIT is just one example of how the Ag White Paper is delivering real results that will make a real difference to the profitability and productivity of our agriculture sector.”