A DECISION by the New South Wales government to divest 51% of the Sydney Motorway Corporation should free up big money for freight-related infrastructure, the Australian Logistics Council says.
Sydney Motorway Corporation was set up by the NSW government to deliver the WestConnex road project. Road operator Transurban, as part of a consortium called Sydney Transport Partners, has received approval from the ACCC to buy the government stake in SMC for a cool $9.3bn.
ALC interim chief executive Lachlan Benson said the money should go back into freight infrastructure.
“Australia’s rapid rate of population growth is placing enormous pressure on our freight infrastructure networks,” Mr Benson said.
“ALC has long supported asset recycling initiatives as an effective way to provide the capital needed to invest in the next generation of Australia’s freight infrastructure and alleviate capacity constraints.
“Making an additional $9.3bn available for the NSW Government will prove enormously beneficial in terms of constructing the sort of projects that will be needed to meet a rapidly growing freight task.”
Mr Benson said the ALC hoped the NSW government would use the opportunity to address projects of crucial importance to the freight logistics industry, including the Sydney Gateway project, connecting WestConnex to Port Botany and to Sydney Airport.
“This significant dividend to the NSW Government should be used to invest in projects that will help alleviate road congestion, which causes frustration for motorists, imposes significant costs on freight logistics operators and ultimately places upward pressure on consumer prices,” Mr Benson said.