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Governments must prioritise land critical to the supply chain: Ports Australia & Australian Logistics Council

The Greater Sydney Commission is undertaking a review of the Industrial and Urban Services Lands Retain and Manage policy under the Greater Sydney Region Plan. The policy applies to industrial areas in Greater Sydney that should be safeguarded from competing land use pressures.

This review responds to Recommendation 7.5 of the NSW Productivity Commission’s 2021 White Paper:

“Evaluate the retain-and-manage approach to managing industrial and urban services land in Greater Sydney against alternative approaches, to identify what would maximise net benefits to the State. Adopt the approach that maximises the State’s welfare in the next update to the Greater Sydney Region Plan.”

Ports Australia fully supports submissions provided by Australian Logistics Council and NSW Ports to the Review.

Ports Australia and Australian Logistics Council believe the review opens a wider debate which transcends borders and involves governments around Australia. It centres around the importance of protecting our freight routes from urban encroachment and supporting their evolution for the future livelihood of the community it serves.

Australia’s national freight task is estimated to be 725 billion tonne-km, having increased by over four-fold in the last 45 years. Between 2018 and 2040 it is forecast to increase by 25% to 962 billion tonne-km, meaning planning now will determine how that task is met.

The current retain-and-manage approach taken by NSW and in similar forms by other government jurisdictions effectively locates the zones which are required to meet freight needs either today or into the future; and conserves this land to ensure that the state is well placed with an effective supply chain going forward. Residential and commercial land management is also essential; however, it is fundamental that critical industrial land needed is protected from encroachment.

The strength of that approach must remain untainted by the appetite of property developers and those alike who are solely interested in financial gain.

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

‘Proper state planning and prioritisation ensures net benefit for the state is maximised and sustained over the long-term,’ Mike 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 NSW 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,’ Mike said.

ALC CEO Brad Williams echoed the sentiment saying the protection and preservation of industrial lands in both local markets such as NSW and nationally are 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,” he said.

Ports Australia will continue to work with industry and governments around Australia to ensure the supply chain can continue its essential function.
Source: Ports Australia

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