AusRAIL, Market Sectors

NTC releases draft National Ports Strategy

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Australia’s major ports will see their influence grow into the freight corridors that serve them, if the draft recommendations for the National Ports Strategy are accepted by state, territory and federal governments. </span> <p>By Rob McKay<br /><br />The National Transport Commission (NTC) last week released a series of recommendations for immediate action, including identifying “relevant and future relevant ports based on economic and productivity significance”.<br />“A national ports strategy is the logical starting point for the development of national transport policies that fill out the Australian Transport Council’s policy framework,”<br />the draft report said.<br />“It is important that this start be made quickly to support the Council of Australian Government’s current focus on freight.”<br />Other points for immediate action were:<br />&bull identify and list the relevant maritime spaces (including sea channels) and landside spaces which are to be treated as part of the relevant ports<br />&bull identify the landside access routes of strategic importance to the efficient function of the system of the relevant ports and designate these as national port freight corridors<br />&bull identify for each metropolitan area the inland intermodal terminals, industrial/warehousing lands or other nodes that generate substantial amounts of port related freight traffic<br />&bull note that certain national interests may arise regarding other ports including for defence or national security purposes and<br />&bull publishing documentation regarding three levels of planning for the relevant ports. These levels are a jurisdictional level covering all relevant ports, and for each relevant port a regional level plan and a port precinct level. The purpose of the documentation is demonstration of intentions for the development of the port(s) to facilitate trade in an unsubsidised manner. <br />The draft strategy accepted that investment in the most modern hard and soft technologies was needed in the freight sector and in ports and that the private sector would have to provide the bulk of this investment, “and in most cases undertake the freight operations which determine productivity levels”.<br />On the growth of port influence inland, the draft said critical freight corridors should be treated “as if they were part of the relevant port”.<br />“This reflects the reality of the importance of a very few access roads and railway lines to the relevant ports,” it added.<br />“It is assumed that relevant sea channels would be considered part of each relevant port.”<br />It was necessary to have public documentation “demonstrating the intention of using the relevant ports to deal with Australia’s trade tasks, and to facilitate that trade in an unsubsidised manner”.<br />Ports Australia chief executive David Anderson welcomed the draft’s release.<br />“We agree on the essential elements and we will be consulting further on the draft because there are some issues of focus that we would like to address,” Anderson said.</p><p>Source: Lloyd’s List Daily Commercial News – <a target="_blank" href=""></a></p><p>&nbsp</p>