THE NSW Business Chamber has called for more investment to integrate rail, road, aviation, port and maritime freight supply chains in its submission to the Draft NSW Freight and Ports Plan.
NSW Business Chamber chief executive Stephen Cartwright said current projections see freight movement increase by 25% in regional NSW and nearly double across the greater Sydney area by 2031.
“In a global market, businesses are increasingly reliant on a competitive freight network and associated support,” he said.
“Constraints on existing road and rail networks reduce the efficiency of freight connections between metro and regional NSW and its key markets. It is vital NSW agricultural, mining and manufactured products have efficient and effective freight access to markets and export facilities.”
The Business Chamber welcomed the Draft Plan, but said it should include:
- A review of the NSW Government Guide to Cost-Benefit Analysis to ensure it adequately captures the breadth of benefits from significant infrastructure investment, particularly those that might be associated with regional locations;
- plans to accelerate the completion of the Fixing Country Roads, Fixing Country Rail and Bridges for the Bush programs;
- measures to improve local/state government co-ordination, planning and governance arrangements for freight infrastructure and operations;
- specifics on how freight demand will be balanced against competing demands from the transport network due to urban encroachment;
- a detailed study of options to encourage innovation, coordination and investment in last mile freight delivery;
- identification of targets and measures to assess NSW freight performance and competitiveness against both relevant domestic and international comparisons and;
- incorporate natural disaster planning and contingency measures to ensure freight transportation schedules are not compromised in such events.