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TfNSW holds disputed line on Gateway ramps

Department still refuses to accept terminal links industry deems essential

 

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is playing a straight bat in the face of some of the toughest criticism to come its way from the freight transport and sector seen in recent times.

TfNSW took up the issue handed to it by state transport minister Andrew Constance’s office following questions on a blunt assessment of its Sydney Gateway Road Project: response to submissions report by an alliance of a comprehensive alliance of freight bodies as it relates to withdrawal of Cooks River Intermodal Terminal (CRIT) ramps.

That alliance, which includes the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), Australian Trucking Association (ATA), Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA), Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA), Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) and Shipping Australia Limited (SAL), accuses TfNSW of having “continually failed to address these matters in good faith” and using questionable analysis.

Despite the alliance being irked significantly by its assertion of proper consultation, a TfNSW spokesperson continued with that line in a response that echoed its position when the ramps were withdrawn last year.


Read about the alliance’s criticism of TfNSW’s approach to the issue, here


“Transport for NSW has been engaging with the freight industry on Sydney Gateway, including the potential for ramps at Canal Road,” the spokesperson says.

“The ramps were considered at an early stage but detailed modelling revealed the benefits would be minimal, construction costs would be high and more land would have to be acquired.

“We have adjusted the design to reduce the impact on the Cooks River Intermodal Terminal and to provide space so ramps could be included at a later date.

“The ramps are also outside the project’s scope so would need a separate business case with new funding and planning approvals.”

A contract award and final planning decision is expected in coming months.

Despite the uncommon feat of uniting the freight industry in this way, TfNSW holds firm to the belief Sydney Gateway will provide a new route for around 10,000 trucks a day, so that they don’t need to travel on local streets.

It ignored ATN’s questions on whether the ramps would ever be built or is so how long that would take and avoided addressing the broad industry mistrust of its behaviour over the issue.

Under TfNSW projections, by 2036, 50 per cent of Port Botany heavy-vehicle traffic is expected to use Sydney Gateway. Other heavy-vehicle traffic travelling to and from Port Botany will primarily use the M5 East.

Meanwhile, Sydney Gateway is also expected to generate $2.2 billion of economic activity, with 1,000 workers employed at the peak of construction.

 

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