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NSW needs to be ready to meet doubling of freight task

Release Date: 20/11/2012
The Illawarra Business Chamber said the release of the NSW Government’s Draft Freight and Ports Strategy would help guide the future growth of the freight task that underpins the NSW economy.

“The importance of Port Kembla and its connectivity to road and rail freight is absolutely fundamental to the health and success of our regional economy and our very quality of
life,” said Mike Leask, Illawarra Business Chamber CEO.

“The entire debate about jobs, economic growth, skills and infrastructure are all pointless unless they are supported by a strong and efficient freight network across the state.

“In the Illawarra we are well aware of the importance of our freight network and the impact of its inefficiencies. This is why the Illawarra Business Chamber supports the need to invest in the Maldon-Dombarton freight link.

Mike Leask said freight movements in NSW were expected to nearly double over the next twenty years from 409 million tonnes in 2011 to 794 million tonnes in 2031. The expansion of Port Kembla Outer Harbour and the building of the Maldon-Dombarton rail line would be critical to meet this freight task.

“There are some truly astounding figures about the amount of materials that are moved
around NSW every single day and how that will only mushroom in coming decades. With much of our existing infrastructure already straining under the pressure of congestion, it is imperative we develop a comprehensive freight strategy to map out how we support a doubling in freight movements by 2031.”

“While this Strategy does not set out the NSW Government’s commitment to developing
much needed infrastructure in the Illawarra, identifying more options for off-peak freight
handling, completing and upgrading the state’s road network, and protecting future freight corridors is a common sense approach to keeping costs of freight down and getting the most economic value out of the network.”

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