port containers

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and New South Wales Ports have called for the protection of industrial lands and freight corridors in submissions to the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) on the Industrial Lands Policy Review.

The submissions highlight the importance of protecting freight routes from urban encroachment and supporting long-term sustainability for national freight tasks. 

Ports Australia supports the submissions, and believes the review opens a wider debate which transcends borders and involves governments around Australia.

Australia’s national freight task is estimated to be 725 billion tonne-km, and is forecast to increase by 25 per cent to 962 billion tonnes-km by 2040, meaning planning decisions made now will determine how that task is met.

The GSC is currently reviewing whether the ‘Retain and Manage’ policy for industrial lands should be changed to permit rezoning and more ‘flexible use’ of industrial lands. 

This would potentially allow residential and other non-industrial uses on current industrial-zoned lands in Greater Sydney.

Ports Australia CEO, Mike Gallacher, stressed that the supply chain belongs front-and-centre in state planning.

“Proper state planning and prioritization ensures net benefit for the state is maximised and sustained over the long-term,” Mr Gallacher said.

“We know property developers around Australia continue to eye off the quick buck potential of coastal locations, but we must keep our priorities straight. This land is critical to our supply chain and it must be protected at all costs.

“The work the New South Wales Government and other governments around the nation have done to protect critical industrial land surrounding major cities must be maintained if our ports and other supply chain links are to continue their service of providing for the nation.”

ALC CEO, Brad Williams, said the protection and preservation of industrial lands in markets such as Sydney and nationally is fundamental to the future operating capabilities of the supply chains.

“The assured supply of industrial land, close to population centres and separated from residences, is essential to managing the cost of moving freight and the efficiency and productivity of supply chains,” Mr Williams said.

“Long-term thinking is needed to avoid poor planning decisions that will allow encroachment of residential areas on industrial lands placing pressure on critical supply chains.”

NSW Ports CEO, Marika Calfas, said that consumer import and export volumes through the Port Botany precinct area are expected to increase year on year.

“The rise of e-commerce, accelerated by COVID-19, together with ongoing population growth in metropolitan Sydney increases the need for industrial land close to population centres to reduce transportation and logistics costs and meet customers’ delivery requirements,” Ms Calfas said.


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