NEW South Wales minister for transport Jo Haylen said there is an opportunity for the state government to reform freight policy in the state.
Speaking at Wednesday’s DCN Australian Shipping & maritime Industry Awards, Ms Haylen said: “Over many decades, there has been no shortage of strategic plans and reviews that have been developed to set a course for transforming freight and removing policy and infrastructure problems,” she said.
“I’m determined to ensure that we’re not another set of hands that recognises the system is not quite at its best but doesn’t take real steps to identify the solutions, and then, most importantly, put them into action. I believe we have a unique opportunity to take action,” Ms Haylen said.
“In fact, changes in the market impacting on the supply chain make reform necessary. I also believe that there’s a strong alignment between what we’re doing in New South Wales and the federal government when it comes to improving the efficiency and sustainability of the freight task. Shipping and the efficiency of our ports is at the heart of this.”
Ms Haylen said the DP World cyberattack serves as a reminder of something she said everyone in the room already knew: how critical shipping, stevedoring and the efficiency of ports is to the economy and the broader community.
“For most of the community, the vital supply chains that provide the goods that we rely on every day … are for the most part, invisible, something they don’t think about, but they only become the subject of conversation, or indeed wide media coverage when they are disrupted or under threat,” she said.
“And it’s then that the implications of a substantial break in that supply chain, including delays in the delivery of goods, and the subsequent increase in costs becomes visible to the wider community.”
She said it is a testament to the reliability of the supply chain that this isn’t a regular topic of conversation.
“It’s a good day when no one notices what we’re doing,” she said.