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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2017
18 COMPANY PROFILE X COMPANY PROFILE It will come as no surprise to anyone that the breadth and complexity of the freight industry’s task in New South Wales is growing exponentially. Freight contributes almost $60 billion to the state’s economy – about 19 per cent of gross domestic product – and provides 500,000 jobs. Off the back of a surging economy, New South Wales’s freight volumes are expected to double on current levels by 2031. Making sure we have the network infrastructure to meet the freight task safely and efficiently is one of the state’s biggest challenges. Our network must not only accommodate future growth, but it also has to balance freight’s needs with those of the broader community. Optimising the network’s use of technology adds another layer of complexity, but it’s as much an opportunity as a challenge, and something that we’re embracing enthusiastically. It was Benjamin Franklin who said that failing to plan is like planning to fail, and that’s become a mantra for transport and logistics strategists around the world. Franklin should have added that no journey should ever start without a map. The current New South Wales Freight and Ports Strategy provides a 20-year framework to guide decisions and investments in the New South Wales freight and logistics network. It was a thorough piece of work that’s now being readied for a refresh. This will occur against the background of a refresh of the broader Strategic Transport Planning Framework, now under the banner of Future Transport. Efficiency, capacity and sustainability are the bywords of our freight network. Each is underpinned by one all- encompassing theme – collaboration. There are many projects that exemplify how closely we’re working with all levels of government, industry and the broader community to deliver on each of those goals. One is the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor (NSFC) Program, a joint Australian and New South Wales Government initiative to improve the capacity and reliability of freight trains between Strathfield and Broadmeadow, in Newcastle. NSFC is removing the most serious bottleneck on the east coast interstate rail network by upgrading infrastructure problems at four specific points. The construction of passing loops at Gosford and Hexham was completed in 2015 and 2012. The North Strathfield Rail Underpass became operational in June 2015, four months ahead of schedule. The last piece is the Epping to Thornleigh Third Track Project, with work completed in March this year. The capacity benefits are obvious. What’s less visible is the pay-off in sustainability. NSFC is taking more than 200,000 heavy vehicles off our roads each year, reducing diesel use by almost 40 million litres per annum, and cutting annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100,000 tonnes. Improving freight network infrastructure By Clare Gardiner-Barnes, Deputy Secretary Freight Strategy and Planning, Transport for NSW 501617E_TRANSPORT NSW I 2318.indd 24 18/05/2017 9:34 AM