ALC responds to NSW planning White Paper

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) is concerned about the recently released NSW 'White Paper on Planning' and the securing of freight infrastructure to meet the country's growing freight task.

After the release  of the new 'Planning System for NSW' White Paper and a 'Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney to 2031' by the New South Wales Government, the ALC has raised a number of concerns about the prioritisation of freight needs in the document and future NSW Government policy.

The ALC describes the freight industry as being treated as the 'poor cousin' when it comes to planning matters, but commended the paper on the identification of a network of long-term transport corridors to support separated freight movements and increase the share of freight moved on rail around the Sydney metropolitan area.

According to the White Paper, the application of a strategic corridor perspective mean priorities can be evaluated in terms of actual supply chain movements and forecast demand. The document also recognises it is crucial to protect infrastructure corridors and has included actions to take place during the planning process to take account of this.

One of the points the ALC raises considerable concern about is the decision to not include the 'Draft NSW Freight and Ports Strategy' as a document to be used within the planning hierarchy to inform planning decisions.

The ALC says the government should ensure some projects included in the Freight and Ports Strategy should be included in relevant planning documents from day one. They also asked the Government to publicly announce the long-term transport corridors which were identified under the programme and in the Freight and Ports Strategy.

“ALC believes that any key freight routes identified in this process also be immediately included in any planning instruments created under the new processes,” said the submission, prepared by the ALC, in answer to the draft proposals.

“ALC therefore hopes that the Government will explain in greater detail how the funding mechanisms identified in the White Paper would apply to the protection of transport corridors spanning different planning regions. Finally, ALC hopes the Government will shortly announce the progress the recently established Infrastructure Financing Unit has made in identifying mechanisms that may leveraged private sector financing for those infrastructure projects identified as being of state significance.”

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