Freight and logistics investment critical to NSW’s future growth

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has welcomed increased investment on NSW’s key freight routes announced recently in its state budget, but has also called on the local government to go further by allocating funds from the privatisation of state assets to the Restart NSW Infrastructure fund.

“In handing down its 2012/2013 budget, the NSW Government has taken a number of important steps to increase the efficiency of freight movements around the state, and in particular across Sydney which continues to suffer from gridlock,” ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff said. “In particular, the ALC welcomes the funding allocations for the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor and the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre Development – both of which are critical in the push to get more freight from road on to rail.”

According to Kilgariff, the one billion dollars allocated for maintenance work on the state’s roads and bridges will increase structural capacity, as well as the announced upgrades of the Pacific and Princess Highways, and the M2 and M5 motorways also have the support of the ALC.

“The ALC would prefer to see the full proceeds of these and other privatisations be deposited into the fund to build critical freight logistics infrastructure which have passed rigorous cost benefit analysis,” Mr Kilgariff said. “Using the funds in this way would also help drive further efficiencies along the supply chain and reduce business costs, which can then be passed back to consumers through cheaper goods at the supermarket.”

The ALC will assess any pricing mechanisms adopted on the basis that it delivers improved productivity, such as better access to key routes; the funding mechanism proposed for implementation does not distort the heavy vehicle industry and the charges are transparent and justified; and the new model is accompanied by a rigorous compliance and enforcement regime to ensure everyone pays their way.

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