The NSW state election saw both the major parties campaign on big spending promises for transport and infrastructure projects.
A few of the major talking points coming out of the election in relation to transport, shipping and logistics include:
- Road: The NSW Coalition has promised to spend about $70 billion in total on transport projects, including $14 billion on the Western Harbour Tunnel & Beaches Link, $2.6 billion to fund the first stage of the F6 extension from Arncliffe to Kogarah and $1 billion allocated for regional roads and bridges.
- Rail: The bulk of public transport spending will be on rail and nearly all of it in Sydney. The Metro West connecting Parramatta and the Sydney CBD is the major investment of $18 billion but significant amounts are also being pledged to establish a rail line to western Sydney airport and for line upgrades across Sydney. The NSW Coalition has also “planned to plan” for a fast rail network on four key routes being: the Northern Route including the Central Coast and Newcastle, the Southern Inland Route including Goulburn and Canberra, the Western Route including Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange / Parkes, and the Southern Coastal Route including Wollongong and Nowra.
- Ports: What seems to have been lost among the big spending promises during the campaign is the issue of the NSW Coalition government’s privatisation of the state’s ports four years ago. The ACCC has commenced legal action over the terms on which the Coalition government privatised Port Botany and Port Kembla and Labor wanted subject the privatisation deals to greater scrutiny by adding it to a judicial inquiry it had already committed to for Sydney's WestConnex motorway and light rail projects. However with the Coalition gaining a majority, that enquiry won’t happen. But the Coalition could still be up for a significant bill if the ACCC is successful in unwinding elements of the sale of Port Botany and Port Kembla.
- Terminal surcharges: The Victorian government has recently announced that it will conduct a review of port access terms, including terminal surcharges and there are calls for the same to occur in NSW. Prior to the election, NSW One Nation (led by Mark Latham) in a media release committed to doing “everything they can” to end what they view as unfair port charges and stop “multi-national stevedoring companies using Aussie truckies as ATMs”. With Mark Latham now back in parliament, time will tell if he attempts to exert some influence on the NSW Coalition government to follow Victoria’s lead.
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