South West Sydney
Western Sydney should not shoulder all of NSW's addiction to imports
Sylvia Hale Greens
“It's simply not good enough to dump the whole of NSW's containerised freight imports into Moorebank" said Ms Hale, The Greens spokesperson for Planning.
"The State Government must urgently develop a plan that shares the noise and pollution that arises from our addiction to imported consumer goods, and not leave western Sydney alone to share the burden.
Surely it is not too difficult to off-load containers for Newcastle, northern Sydney and Northern NSW at Newcastle, or to offload containers for Wollongong, South Western Sydney and southern NSW at Port Kembla.” said Ms Hale.?
Ms Hale said “There is no doubt that the inner areas of Sydney should bear their fair share too, and take their containerised freight through Port Botany with an intermodal at Enfield. "The current plan of State and Federal Labor and Liberal parties will essentially see all the containerised freight imports for NSW come through Port Botany and then to Moorebank, with a small amount going to Enfield.”
Hale said “ Government has consistently selected locations based on using Government owned land rather than planning where the optimal location should be.”
Hale continued “Much as Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese may claim that up to 40% of freight will be railed from Port Botany to Moorebank, there is not the capacity in the current rail system to take 40% of containerised freight from Port Botany, and even if there was it would mean that life for residents of his own electorate living near the Bankstown rail corridor will become nearly intolerable.
"The majority of the freight will instead go down an expanded M5, and there will be a near unbroken line of trucks from Port Botany to Moorebank 24 seven as result.
"For people living nearby the M5 noise and air pollution will increase, and even an expanded M5 will once again reach gridlock in a very short period of time.
"As with the construction of the third runway nearly twenty years ago, Labor in Government has gone with the quick fix, and disregarded the interests of residents around Botany Bay, and this time of south western Sydney as well.
"Labor should complete the Maldon-Dombarton rail line from Port Kembla to south western Sydney and upgrade freight and passenger rail links from Newcastle to northern Sydney, which would reduce road traffic, reduce air pollution, reduce long term costs and share the downside of freight imports into NSW.
"Increasing containerised freight through both Port Kembla and Newcastle would diversify the freight handling at both ports, reduce their reliance on coal exports and create regional employment opportunities. A state-wide inquiry into NSW freight transport needs would allow us to take a big picture response to this major issue," said Ms Hale.
There was a clear message yesterday, that is every vote counts.