Freight and Ports Plan efficiency emphasis lauded

Peak bodies, businesses welcome freight and ports strategy following its release

Freight and Ports Plan efficiency emphasis lauded
Lachlan Benson and Phil Davies from the ALC flank Melinda Pavey at the launch of the NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023


Industry has reacted positively to the NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023, citing efficiency improvement and long-term economic growth outlook as favourable aspects.

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey yesterday unveiled the plan, which was completed following feedback and input from more than 100 submissions after a draft was released in December 2017.

"To support this, the NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 provides more than 70 initiatives for increasing capacity on the existing network, including building new infrastructure," Pavey said.

"Significantly, the plan saystogether policy makers, producers, operators, regulators and government allowing for more coordinated and better freight planning."

The plan has been met with affirmation so far, with the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) saying it will help improve the safety and efficiency of freight movement in NSW, and achieves progress on policy reforms that the freight logistics industry has been calling for.

Full wrap of the NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023, here

"We are pleased that the plan announced by the minister touches on many of the issues ALC and industry have long advocated as priority actions," ALC interim CEO Lachlan Benson says.

"The plan also recognises the need to give freight more prominent consideration in planning policy, and in particular, to protect remaining industrial lands in order to meet a growing freight task.

"As part of this, ALC encourages the NSW Government to specifically zone areas as logistics lands, so that they can be afforded the 24/7 operational flexibility the industry requires."

Benson adds that the government’s commitment to develop a Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy in partnership with industry that encourages take-up of safety technologies is also a positive, as is the development of a rest stop framework to assist decision making around the provision and management of rest stops for heavy vehicles.

"The plan clearly accounts for the increasingly important role data will play in enhanced supply chain efficiency and the need to encourage data sharing in the industry. ALC hopes NSW will support efforts to establish a consistent national data standard, so that different systems in the supply chain are able to communicate with each other efficiently."

"Finally, ALC welcomes the plan’s focus on enhanced connectivity between Port Botany and the surrounding motorway network. We urge the NSW Government prioritise the completion of a business case that ensures the Sydney Gateway planning incorporates direct heavy vehicle access for the adjacent Cooks River Intermodal Terminal while not impeding its current and future critical port rail operations."

Road Freight NSW CEO Simon O’Hara welcomes the opportunity to work with government and provide feedback on the plan’s make-up.

"We are now hopeful that this crucial industry consultation can lay the foundations for best outcomes for not only our members in road and freight, but for the community as a whole," he says.

Ports Australia chief executive Mike Gallacher says it is promising that the plan acknowledges the ports' contribution to the NSW economy, and the requirement to protect and incorporate opportunities to grow.

"The NSW government, through their support for an investigation into a national coastal shipping frame work, has recognised in this plan that there are various ways to achieve their growth goals," he says.

"Coastal shipping is a key initiative identified by the plan to achieve its five goals of economic growth, efficiency, connectivity and access, capacity, safety and sustainability.

"We encourage all governments, especially the Federal Government, to begin exploring various ways to accommodate our growing population and freight task including using our blue highway to its potential."

Rail freight giant Pacific National’s CEO Dean Dalla Valle commended the collaboration between industry and government to get the plan over the line and the consideration given to regional freight.

"Productive and efficient freight networks help support our farmers, exporters and manufacturers compete in global markets," he says.

The five-year strategy will be backed with $5 billion worth of investment towards its implementation.


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