Tripodi scraps Dutch auction proposal


Port Botany will be the first port in Australia to introduce a congestion charge for trucks

By Brad Gardner

The NSW Government has dumped a Dutch auction proposal for Port Botany, instead slapping a congestion charge on trucks.

Minister for Ports and Waterways Joe Tripodi announced Australia’s first congestion charge as he responded to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunals’ report into implementing a number of initiatives to boost the port’s efficiency.

Operators will be given an incentive to enter Port Botany during off-peak periods, which Tripodi says will cut traffic congestion in and around the precinct.

"Congestion and inefficiencies will be reduced when we have round-the-clock access to Port Botany," Tripodi says.

"It will also add top the capacity of the port through the better use of existing infrastructure. This will mean savings to both industry and government."

Citing cases involving overseas ports, Tripodi says peak pricing agreements have been implemented with success.

However, there it is unclear as what the price at Port Botany will be set up, with Tripodi saying a charge will be set following consultation with the trucking industry.

Revenue generated will be invested in improving Port Botany’s landside infrastructure, Tripodi says.

IPART wanted stevedores to introduce a two-tiered vehicle booking system containing ‘firm’ and ‘interruptible’ slots.

Under the ‘firm’ slot measure, trucking operators would vie for a guaranteed time of entry and exit while the other method would continue the first-come-first-served basis.

The Rees Government will install more TruckCams in queuing zones to monitor traffic movements to reduce the impact queues on Port Botany’s road network.

The trucking and rail industries will also be required to meet performance standards aimed at increasing turnaround times.

A rail logistics team will be established to improve rail efficiency, and real time information systems developed to keep the trucking industry of any delays as a result of lengthy queues.

"We are hoping industry takes the lead and initiates the necessary changes to reduce road congestion and improve efficiency at the port," Tripodi says.

However, Tripodi says the Government may intervene if the industry shows it is incapable of taking a lead role in implementing the reforms.

One option will be to have the Sydney Ports Corporation manage off-peak pricing for trucks entering the port.

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