Newcastle container ops a priority for NSW freight panel

Grain Central January 29, 2024

MOVING forward with increased container operations at Port of Newcastle will be an immediate priority for a new independent advisory panel announced by the New South Wales Government last week.

The panel will assist in the development of a new freight strategy for the state and help to deliver prioritised and practical policy reform focused on the key current and emerging challenges facing the industry.

This policy reform will focus on the different parts of the supply chain, with ports, rail, road and intermodal facilities all considered as part of a coordinated supply chain to determine the right policy framework to optimise safety, sustainability and productivity.

The panel will consist of Kerry Schott AO, who recently completed a report into the Inland Rail project, chair of Health Infrastructure NSW and also Australian Naval Infrastructure Lucio Di Bartolomeo Australian Logistics Council CEO and managing director Hermione Parsons.

Alongside considering the determination of compensation to be paid by the Port of Newcastle, the panel will also review and consult with industry on the recommendations made by Ed Willett’s review of the port regulatory framework and the regulation of the movement of containers at Port Botany.

The program will identify short, medium and long-term actions for government to support the ongoing improvement of freight transport across NSW.

NSW Transport Minister Jo Haylen said a more productive freight sector would make it easier for businesses to operate, and can also deliver lower retail prices for customers across NSW.

“Safe, sustainable, and productive freight transport is critical to support the people, businesses and industries of NSW,” Ms Haylen said.

“A more productive freight sector can deliver reduced costs for businesses and lower retail prices for ordinary people right across NSW.

“Our freight network is still too disjointed and inefficient with policy and infrastructure bottlenecks right across the supply chain.”

Ms Haylen said the panel will “provide an evidence-based action plan that will optimise the freight transport network in NSW”.

“The appointment of the Independent Advisory Panel will work with my department and provide independent and expert advice on the Program.

“I have confidence that with their diverse expertise in their fields, the Panel is well placed to lead us through this significant reform in freight transport policy.”

There will be comprehensive stakeholder consultation undertaken as part of this program.

It is intended that the first phase will follow release of a Discussion Paper and is expected to occur in the first quarter of this year.

Source: Transport NSW


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  1. Rick Banyard, January 31, 2024

    Let’s hope this team puts some real efficiencies into the Ports of NSW and recognises the real value of Newcastle as a major player. Botany is a highly inefficient slug on Sydney that is being fed huge dollars to unscramble the traffic and freight movement.
    The rail needs a major shake up with all the closed branch lines reopened and upgraded to provide passenger and freight services.
    The Ardglen Tunnel needs replacing immediately as using as many as 8 banking engines to push trains over the hill is a dead set very expensive joke.
    Major upgrades to double stack the line from Walgett to Newcastle via Werris Creek and the Hunter is an absolute must.

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