A new policy reform program has been announced that is set to deliver prioritised and practical reform to address the key issues facing the freight sector in New South Wales. 

It will be led by Transport for NSW under the leadership of an Independent Advisory Panel of eminent experts who have deep experience in the freight and logistics sector reporting to the New South Wales Minister for Transport, Jo Haylen, who will assist in the development of a new freight strategy for the State. 

The panel will consist of:

  • Kerry Schott AO
  • Lucio Di Bartolomeo
  • Hermione Parsons

This policy reform will focus on the different parts of the supply chain, with ports, rail, road and intermodal facilities all considered as part of a coordinated supply chain to determine the right policy framework to optimise safety, sustainability and productivity.

A more productive freight sector is expected to make it easier for businesses to operate and also deliver lower retail prices for customers right across New South Wales.

Immediate priorities for the panel will include consideration of the determination of compensation to be paid by the Port of Newcastle for increasing container operations as part of New South Wales port policy.

The panel will also review and consult with industry on the recommendations made by Mr Ed Willett’s review of the port regulatory framework and the regulation of the movement of containers at Port Botany.

The program will identify short, medium and long-term actions for the government to support the ongoing improvement of freight transport.

The freight task in New South Wales is complex and evolving, with a need to respond to advances in technology and a move toward net zero emissions, the ongoing development of major infrastructure, the changing ports landscape, national harmonisation policies and global trade fluctuations.

The Freight Reform Program is set to deliver a comprehensive strategic reform agenda to optimise freight transport to benefit New South Wales communities.

There will be comprehensive stakeholder consultation undertaken as part of this program. It is intended that the first phase will follow the release of a Discussion Paper and is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2025. 

Ms Haylen said that safe, sustainable, and productive freight transport is critical to support the people, businesses and industries of New South Wales. 

“A more productive freight sector can deliver reduced costs for businesses and lower retail prices for ordinary people right across the state,” Ms Haylen said. 

“Our freight network is still too disjointed and inefficient with policy and infrastructure bottlenecks right across the supply chain.

“I am pleased to be able to announce the beginning of this significant reform agenda to inform government policy and provide an evidence-based action plan that will optimise the freight transport network in New South Wales.

“The appointment of the Independent Advisory Panel will work with my department and provide independent and expert advice on the Program. 

“I have confidence that with their diverse expertise in their fields, the Panel is well placed to lead us through this significant reform in freight transport policy.”

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