Pavey releases NSW Freight and Ports Plan

Five year strategy to be backed with $5 billion investment

Pavey releases NSW Freight and Ports Plan
Melinda Pavey


Managing growth and congestion across road and rail is the central theme of the New South Wales government’s ambitious plan for the next five years involving freight and ports.

Roads, maritime and freight minister Melinda Pavey notes NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 highlights the government and industry plans for road, rail, air, shipping and pipelines and builds on investment from the 2013 NSW Freight and Ports Strategy

"The amount of freight moved through NSW is set to grow by 28 percent to more than 618 million tonnes by 2036," Pavey says.

"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.

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

Yet again, a NSW government has promised a huge increase in rail’s share of landside container traffic through Port Botany – 28 per cent this time around – though the expectation of Moorebank coming on line may hold hope it will actually be met.

It plans to bring new technology to bear on freeway and Port Botany operations, with a view to a 90 per cent peak travel on-time target.

This includes a tracking system for containers using sensors with barcodes or licence plate recognition software and trials of drones to investigate reasons for delays in moving goods within the Port Botany precinct.

It will also investigate major pipeline projects in western Sydney, the Hunter and at Port Kembla to reduce the need for dangerous goods to be transported by road.

Delivery of a new Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy will seek to reduce fatalities and serious injuries involving heavy or light trucks.

Importantly, given the industry’s clamour for action, the government will seek to "develop a rest stop framework".

But this will came with trialling a new approach to telematics, enhancing law enforcement and advocating "for an outcomes-based approach to managing heavy vehicle safety".

Read how the draft plan was received by the ALC, here

The plan, also launched with reginal NSW and small business minister John Barilaro, aims to assist local councils by providing information which helps to identify key freight corridors, assessing bridge and road capacity, understanding the safety features of Performance Based Standard (PBS) vehicles and their impact on reducing truck movements to help increase capacity on the network.

On this, there will be a five-pronged attack, aiming to:

  • assist local councils in making high productivity vehicle (HPV) access decisions
  • work with industry to improve the efficiency of urban freight
  • improve planning for last mile deliveries
  • assist local councils to plan for freight needs
  • ensure planning accommodates the growth of the freight task and protects community amenity.

With access issues remaining a major impediment to productivity, the government proposes a four-pronged assault, aiming to:

  • implement NSW Heavy Vehicle Access Policy Framework
  • fund infrastructure improvements to increase HPV road access
  • assist local councils in making HPV access decisions
  • expand the coverage and uptake of heavy vehicle mass concession schemes.

The plan’s freight-related infrastructure spend is to include $543 million towards Fixing Country Roads, $400 million towards Fixing Country Rail, $15 million towards the Fixing Country Rail pilot, $21.5 million towards the Main West rail line, $500 million towards the Sydney Airport Road upgrade, $400 million towards Port Botany Rail Line duplication, $171 million towards the Coffs Harbour Bypass and $2.2-$2.6 billion towards Sydney Gateway.

After receiving unrelenting flack on its controversial Newcastle port strategy, not least claims it has lumped the port with compensation costs per container above 30,000 to be passed on to NSW Ports, which controls Port Botany and Port Kembla, the government says: "Current arrangements do not prohibit the development of a container terminal at the Port of Newcastle but rather allow for the growth of container volumes through Newcastle that service the region."

The full report can be found here.

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