Greens NSW MP and Transport, Roads and Ports Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC has reacted to a Deloitte report that shows hundreds of thousands of trucks could be moved from Sydney’s gridlocked roads if a new container terminal is built at Newcastle, but secret restrictions introduced during the privatisation of NSW ports are preventing its development.
The Deloitte study found a quarter of the state’s imports and 38 per cent of exports now moving through Port Botany are destined for or originate from parts of the state that are closer to the Port of Newcastle. The Greens’ view is that ports should be public assets and freight on rail must be prioritised as part of the NSW Government’s freight planning.
Dr Faruqi said:
“Secretive deals drawn up with private port operators have locked Sydney into congested traffic. This is a flow on effect of privatisation and sneaky contracts that favour private interest over public benefit.
“This is yet more proof that this Government has failed to ensure holistic transport and freight planning in the public interest and their privatisation agenda has led to gridlocks and air pollution.
“Trucks on roads is a huge issue in Sydney. I welcome the ACCC investigation, and it should be extended to find out if there are any restrictions on moving freight to rail in these secretive private contracts.
“Keeping our ports public is the key to ensuring transport and freight planning can be done without Governments being tied into inflexible contracts with private corporations,” she concluded.