I recently attended the annual FTA (Freight and Trade Alliance) conference this past weekend.
Along with catching up with my industry peers, we had the pleasure of listening to Lee Cale from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forrestry. Lee is the Assistant Secretary of Cargo Operations. She advised of staff problems, budgets etc. Once again they are looking at different scenarios to free up staff to alleviate time constraint problems. This is ongoing and Lee advised that the Department is aware of business concerns as inspection booking times are taking up to 2-3 weeks. This is not only causing massive delays, but increasing costs to the end consumer.
Recently, the Department of Agriculture launched a new portal aimed at reducing some of the pressures being felt. However peak industry bodies such as the FTA along with IFCBAA (International Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Australia) are pushing for more extreme changes.