NSW Ports said in its submission to a land policy review by the Greater Sydney Commission the protection and preservation of industrial lands in Sydney is critical to operating capabilities of New South Wales’ supply chains and the future productivity and growth of Sydney.

Central to the Greater Sydney Commission’s review is the consideration of whether the current “retain and manage” policy for industrial land protection should be changed to permit more flexible use of industrial lands. This would potentially allow rezoning to enable residential and other non-industrial uses to be located on current industrial zoned lands throughout Greater Sydney. 

NSW Ports said industrial land supply and location are fundamental to cost-effective and efficient port, freight and logistics activities for businesses in greater Sydney and the broader community. This need will only increase in the future as population and freight volumes grow.

The port manager said industrial lands around the Port Botany area are of high service value to Greater Sydney and the state of NSW. With 99% of NSW container volume imported through Port Botany, the lands in the vicinity of the port are a critical part of NSW logistics services.

“The freight task in Greater Sydney is growing due to population growth and dramatic increase in e-commence. In order to provide cost-effective service to residents and businesses, the city needs well located lands for freight and logistics,” NSW Ports said.

“Competition for industrial lands in proximity to existing population centres is tightening industrial land supply and pushing freight and logistics providers westwards. These factors increase the cost to service both consumers and businesses through higher land costs and increased travel distances, also adding to road congestion, environmental impacts and the need for new road capacity investment.”

NSW Ports also said urban encroachment on industrial lands affects the productive use of these lands through curfews and other costly operating restrictions.

“Industrial land availability and logistics costs increase impact on Sydney’s competitiveness as a business and manufacturing centre,” it said.

“NSW Ports strongly recommends the preservation of the ‘retain and manage’ policy for industrial lands around Greater Sydney and particularly in Eastern Sydney. Indeed, preserving the industrial lands in the vicinity of Port Botany is essential given our reliance as an island nation on the import and export of goods by sea.

“Only through the protection of Greater Sydney’s industrial lands for freight and logistics can we continue to provide for future business and employment growth, meet customer service requirements, mitigate increases to the cost of living and subsequently maximise the overall wellbeing of the people of Greater Sydney and New South Wales.”