Botany 2040 ~ 6 Million Container Trucks?

Filed under Letters & Opinion ~ by Editor on  26 Sep 2019

The (NSW) government says that rail access to a container terminal is not a key consideration for regional economic growth.

The government thinks it is not appropriate to rail all freight currently entering Sydney by road, and to rail all Port Botany container freight.

The NSW government does not support removing container trucks from Sydney’s roads.

The government is unfazed by the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal Company Ltd estimation that by 2040, there will be six million container trucks movements a year through Port Botany, which will reduce to five million container trucks, if the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal operates at full capacity. Current container truck movements through Port Botany are one million a year.

The government can’t say how much it will cost to upgrade the local Moorebank road network to service the intermodal terminal. The government claims that the intermodal terminal is still at the planning stage, which means that “the final cost for road improvements is not yet known”.

The government has started early planning for a future upgrade and extension of Cambridge Avenue, Glenfield. This upgrade will improve access to the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and address the long term population and employment growth in the Liverpool Moorebank sub region,” the government says.

However, the government can’t say how much Moorebank Intermodal Company is required to contribute to road improvements.

The government is unable to identify the capacity of the rail freight network serving the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.

The government accepts that removing freight from Sydney’s existing rail network will enable the capacity to be used for passenger services “subject to rolling stock, crew availability and demand”.

Stage one of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor will reach capacity by 2026, but stages 2 and 3 to create the equivalent of a dedicated rail freight line between Newcastle and Strathfield are yet to be confirmed. “The scope of future stages of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor will be subject to demand projections and business cases,” the government says.

The government is unable to identify how the $800 million cost of the Maldon-Dombarton rail freight line will be funded.

The government confirms that the Australian government announced a funding commitment of $400 million for upgrading the rail freight line into Port Botany, including the Cabramatta Loop Project on the Southern Sydney Freight Line.

The government “has committed to investigate” a new rail bridge over the Hawkesbury River.

The government is yet to acknowledge that the “Ports Assets (Authorised Transactions) Act 2012” did not authorise the government to:

(a) lease Port Botany and Port Kembla in May 2013 with a 50-year unfunded contractual obligation to pay financial support to the lessee for any container traffic at the Port of Newcastle;


(b) lease the Port of Newcastle in May 2014 for the purpose of passing the lessee the government’s contractual obligation to pay financial support to the lessee of Port Botany and Port Kembla for any container traffic at the Port of Newcastle.

A rail freight bypass of Sydney – between Newcastle, Badgery’s Creek and Port Kembla – could be paid for by developing a container terminal at the Port of Newcastle and railing all containers for the entire NSW market.

Greg Cameron
Infrastructure Consultant

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