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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2018
66 ALC FORUM 2018 The Hon Melinda Pavey MP – Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight (NSW) Minister Pavey delivered an opening keynote address to the Forum, which focused on the significance of the freight logistics industry in Australia’s most populous state, and explored some of the New South Wales Government’s initiatives to improve the performance of the New South Wales freight network. The Minister highlighted how New South Wales’s commitment to fiscal discipline over recent budgets has enabled the current ‘infrastructure boom’, and she also made specific note of the importance of the decision to lease poles and wires in the New South Wales electricity system, which has permitted the state to repair country roads and set about removing choke points in roads, rail and ports. She outlined some of the specific benefits that have flowed as a result of this, including the reduction of truck turnaround times at Port Botany from an average of 53 minutes in 2010 to an average 24 minutes today, and the two-hour reduction in travel time along the Pacific Highway when duplication is completed in 2020. It was also noted that the proceeds from the sale of New South Wales’s share of the Snowy Mountains asset to the Commonwealth would be invested in road and rail infrastructure. Minister Pavey went on to discuss heavy vehicle safety in New South Wales, which has received prominence in the early part of 2018. She noted that New South Wales has more heavy vehicles than any other state, and it has four times the number of road inspectors than any other state. The state government is serious about compliance, but we need to ensure that it is occurring under a nationally consistent framework. Minister Pavey emphasised that government does not have all the answers on this issue, and that the continued engagement and cooperation of industry will be critical to achieve better outcomes in this area. Minister Pavey also set out the priority action areas identified in the Draft NSW Freight and Ports Plan, which at the time was open for public consultation. The Draft includes a particular focus on corridor preservation; enhancing freight access to the road, rail, port and air networks; reducing regulatory burdens on industry; supporting the rollout of technologies that can reduce freight costs; and enhancing the safety of the New South Wales freight network. The Minister concluded by encouraging those who had not yet read the Draft Plan to do so and make a submission to ensure that industry’s views are widely and accurately captured. The Hon Melinda Pavey MP – Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight (NSW)