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Expert taskforce to address Botany landside efficiency: Tripodi

<p>A high-powered new task force will today (Monday, November 27) begin examining in detail landside logistics at Port Botany. </p> <p>The taskforce of senior government officials and leading industry figures will provide advice on improving the efficiency of the landside movement of containers to and from Port Botany, New South Wales ports minister Joe Tripodi, who will chair the meeting, said.</p> <p>&#8220The taskforce will provide strategic advice to the government on a range of freight logistics issues, including port operations, road and rail freight operations, container parks, planning and regulation,&#8221 Mr Tripodi said.</p> <p>&#8220It is important to have the right people who can provide leadership and establish good working relationships with all the relevant stakeholders.&#8221</p> <p>Trade out of Port Botany has been hampered in recent weeks by truck queues, working to clear container backlogs accumulated over weekend shifts.</p> <p>However, congestion has eased this week, and an industry insider said trucks were moving as scheduled in and out of the port this morning. </p> <p>Mr Tripodi said the taskforce was created after the Port Botany Logistics Roundtable meeting in September to ensure freight logistics kept pace with port redevelopment.</p> <p>Last financial year, Port Botany handled 1.37m teu, a 5% increase on the previous year and an average annual growth of almost 8% over three years.</p> <p>&#8220I convened the roundtable to identify operational and regulatory impediments to container freight distribution in Sydney and gauge industry support for an ongoing taskforce to examine practical solutions,&#8221 he said.</p> <p>&#8220I was encouraged by the willingness of industry to come together and contribute valuable time and knowledge to address issues of common concern.</p> <p>&#8220The taskforce will keep this important dialogue going to meet the challenges ahead.&#8221</p> <p>Last week, Sydney Ports Corporation chief executive Greg Martin said the corporation was committed to improving landside logistics at the port.</p> <p>While the future number of port trucks on the road would continue to represent a low proportion when compared with total traffic (between 1-2%), SPC said it was important that growth was accommodated on existing infrastructure through better traffic and operational management.</p> <p>&#8220We have import receivers and depots which only work five days a week &#8211 five and a half days if you’re lucky,&#8221 Mr Martin said. </p> <p>&#8220You have truckies who would prefer not to work seven days a week but the reality is there’s no point in them working seven days, if there’s nowhere for them to take the box to. The reality is, something has to change.</p> <p>&#8220Unless the industry can start to get itself organised to do something, then you could possibly see draconian blunt instruments used &#8211 like penalising people for moving boxes in the daytime.</p> <p>&#8220We’re not proposing that, but we’ve seen that happen in other places like Los Angeles. Something will have to happen.&#8221</p> <p>Mr Tripodi will chair the taskforce, convening for the first time today. The group comprises Mr Martin, SeaFreight Council chairman Geoff Farnsworth, Railcorp chief executive Vince Graham, NSW Department of Planning director general Sam Haddad, NSW Maritime chief executive Chris Oxenbould, the Unions NSW secretary John Robertson, long-time logistics and planning expert Liesbet Spanjaard, Austate Logistics Terminals managing director Terry Tzaneros, Dangerous Goods Logistics managing director John West, and NSW Road Transport Authority chief executive Les Wielinga.</p> <br />