Tuesday 18th Feb, 2020

NSW government releases new freight plan

Pacific National class 92 locomotives hauling a coal train over a rail bridge crossing the Hunter River at Singleton, NSW. Photo: Creative Commons / Bluedawe.
Photo: Creative Commons / Bluedawe.

The NSW government has released a new freight and ports plan, which will guide the investment of over $5 billion across the sector to support the state’s growing freight task.

The government’s report NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 calls for government and industry to work together to make the state’s freight system more efficient, accessible, safer and sustainable over the next five years.

State roads, maritime and freight minister Melinda Pavey said that the plan set firm targets to achieve faster, more efficient and higher capacity freight networks.

“With freight and logistics contributing more than $180 million to the NSW economy every day, an increasing population and consumer preferences changing, the freight network will face increased future demand,” Pavey said.

“This, compounded by a desire to have same day delivery for online goods, requires government and industry to have the freight network capable of working at full throttle.”

With the NSW freight task to grow by 28 per cent by 2036, the plan provides over 70 initiatives to increase network capacity, including through investing $5 billion in new and existing infrastructure.

Other efforts will include supporting reforms that harmonise national laws and regulations and remove impediments to productivity for operators across the network, engaging in data sharing with industry, and facilitating the use of new technologies for improve network coordination.

The plan also aims at increasing in the share of freight transport via rail to the Port of Botany to 28 per cent by 2021, protecting land for future corridors, and making investments – including targeted improvements to the NSW rail network – that will expand the capacity of east-west freight rail movements.

Alongside the plan, the NSW government will report its efforts in achieving its objectives via a new online Freight Performance Dashboard and other data platforms that mark and measure targets across a number of categories, including the number of rail freight paths and overall percentages of freight usage across the state.