The Federal Government’s, Infrastructure Australia,  has issued a National Freight Strategy Discussion Paper link –  Freight Strategy . This is particularly relevant given our neighbourhood boasts the second largest container port and largest airport .
Interesting to read that data on freight is inadequate for planning purposes and there is lack of clarity on planning for climate change.  Negative freight externalities are  a significant issue.
The road and rail task are expected to increase significantly but note that the National Transport Commission uses a very ‘conservative’ approach when relating the impacts of container and other heavy vehicles.  They are equated to only double or treble an ordinary sedan.  This is a major failing when examining negative externalities.
Relevant to Port Botany in particular is the comment that “transport policies can reflect general principles that governments want pursued across sectors.  The Government’s own Commission of Inquiry into Port Botany recommended against the 63 ha third terminal because of the proximity to Sydney Airport and the environmental impacts (which we are already witnessing).  The Commission recommended a smaller expansion, adding around 16 ha to each of the existing terminals.  This recommendation was overruled by the NSW government because they wanted to attract a third stevedore.  It is highly unlikely that the third stevedore, Hutchison Ports (the largest stevedore in the world) will be content with an overall cap of 3.2 million TEU(containers in 20ft. units) particularly given that the existing stevedores will be moving over 2.2 million containers by the time Hutchison is up and running.  Also note Ports Strategy submission which examines Port Botany and related issues.
Submissions close 30th April.  Some key points:

Page 22 : Accurate and reliable freight data is critical to ascertain freight infrastructure needs and to inform policy development. Currently, freight data is inadequate, or is descriptive rather than analytic. Consequently, the ability to produce forecasts and scenarios is limited. There also are differences in the freight forecasts presented to Infrastructure Australia.

Page 24: General freight is likely to grow near population centres. However, population growth and urban consolidation can place pressure on routes used by freight vehicles and on freight precincts, particularly if there are major changes in the locations of residential lands. Arguments in favour of urban consolidation around transport corridors may need to take account of freight movements on main roads and rail lines, including in the evening.

Page 27: Freight and freight generating activities, such as manufacturing and warehousing, may also be affected by climate change. It is unclear to what extent freight planning documents consider scenarios of climate change impacts on physical infrastructure or on demand patterns.

Page 28:  Transport policies can reflect general principles that governments want pursued across sectors. An example of this in the 1990s was the introduction of national competition principles, including access regimes that can apply to all nationally significant infrastructure, except roads. A more recent initiative, also potentially far reaching, relates to the capital cities strategic planning systems.

Page 39:  Freight externalities are a significant issue such that a major theme of several reports has been to identify ways in which the adverse impacts of a growing freight task might be addressed. Externalities include congestion, global greenhouse gases, local amenity issues, and accidents. They can give rise to community disquiet about freight, which may place a limit on freight productivity. Externalities differ by locality and by mode. Although difficult to quantify they are thought to be larger for road than for rail or shipping. The Productivity Commission has argued that there is a particular need for further research into transport
externalities.

Page 42:  Implementation of a national land freight network also provides an opportunity to engage with the community at a high level to support the progress of freight policy, and for enduring reform.

Page 47:  Urban encroachment is one of the most substantial constraints to freight. It leads to community sentiment against freight activities. Encroachment relates to the interaction of freight and land uses. This issue was highlighted in the proposed national ports strategy and also occurs in relation to freight that is not port related. 

Page 54: The map shows a single new national network to reflect an emphasis on potential future freight flows, freight (vehicle) connectivity, ports and settlements. It includes:
• ports such as Kembla, Portland, Abbot Point, Bell Bay and Dampier, and prospective ports such as Oakajee and Hastings
• Canberra and Port Kembla now formally part of the national land freight network
• major airports, some regional airports with important freight tasks such as Rockhampton, Port Hedland and Townsville
• intermodal terminal / freight cluster sites in the capital cities, Gold Coast and Canberra
• rail lines towards the Pilbara and the inland rail route Melbourne-Brisbane/Gladstone
• rail tracks standardized to gauge and train control systems: in Western Australia to Esperance, Bunbury and towards the Pilbara; in Victoria to Portland and Hastings; in Queensland along the coast and to Mt Isa; and  through Sydney
• roads to ports, airport and intermodal terminal / freight cluster sites
• completion of urban motorway networks to freight specifications / priority.

One Response to “National Freight Strategy Discussion Paper”
  1. Lynda says:

    Note submission from Matraville Precinct – http://www.matraville.info/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/L_2011_04_24_NationalFreightStrategy.pdf

    see page 2: “While the aspirations of the Australian people are stated as being at the forefront of the vision behind the National Land Freight Strategy it seems at odds to the refer throughout the document to urban encroachment which implies communities are advancing, with stealth, beyond our allowed limits, swallowing up land that is not ‘ours’ to have. Many of Matraville’s homes were built in the early 1900’s, well before Port Botany began operation in 1979. Population growth is what will grow demand and in turn our freight volumes, it is therefore urban development or consolidation (not encroachment) and for the large part already exists.”

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