Botany proceeds to help lift rail's market share

Funds from Port Botany privatisation will go toward getting more containers on rail to lift its share of freight task

By Brad Gardner | September 9, 2011

The NSW Government will pump some of the proceeds from the privatisation of Port Botany into rail to lift the mode’s share of the freight task.

With NSW aiming to have 40 percent of Port Botany container freight carried by rail by 2016, Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay says the privatisation process will help fund necessary port infrastructure to generate a modal shift.

The Greens want greater investment in rail to reduce the number of trucks on Sydney roads, with the party’s transport spokeswoman, Cate Faehrmann, calling for an immediate track duplication to meet the expected increase in container movements.

"The leasing of Port Botany will free up resources to provide infrastructure that will help to deliver that rail network. The Government is about putting proper infrastructure in place to get as much freight as possible onto rail," Gay says.

"Port infrastructure is my number one, two and three priority. We should transport freight by rail instead of road whenever possible and that is where the modal links come in. The lease will liberate funds so the infrastructure can be provided."

In handing down the budget this week, Treasurer Mike Baird announced Port Botany would be privatised under a 99-year lease. He says the revenue, which is expected to top $2 billion, will be used to fund key infrastructure projects such as the Pacific Highway.

Botany’s assets include three container terminals with six container berths, which will rise to 11 when upgrades are completed next year. Baird expects the lease to be finalised by mid 2013.

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