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Sydney land review gets tick of approval from transport sector

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Peak transport bodies have voiced a collective sigh of relief that a year long review into the use of industrial land in the Greater Sydney area has called for the continuation of the ‘retain and manage’ approach.

The NSW Productivity Commission had identified a number of arguments for increasing zoning flexibility of industrial lands that conflict with trucking and freight operations.

Road Freight NSW CEO Simon O’Hara said the decision by the New South Wales Greater Cities Commission to retain the status quo marks an important implicit recognition of the logistics sector and industrial lands use.

“This also represents the best of what happens when the industry works together collaboratively to solve problems,” said O’Hara.

“In conjunction with the ATA, NSW Ports, and others, we made submissions to protect industrial lands in Greater Sydney.

“For instance, Port Botany is an essential economic asset for NSW and Australia. The freight required to service Port Botany also ensures that we keep ensuring that imports and exports get in and get out in a productive manner.”

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) also welcomed the findings of the review that included stakeholder engagement, in-depth interviews with businesses, a peer review by international experts and technical analysis.

In a submission to the review in 2021, ALC also called for the ‘retain and manage’ policy to be preserved in order to protect industrial lands in Greater Sydney to ensure adequate room to move as the freight task grows.

“ALC welcomes the findings of the review and urges all levels of government to work together to ensure they are implemented going forward,” said ALC CEO Brad Williams.

“ALC supports appropriate land use planning protections to preserve key freight and industrial lands and the Commission’s draft guiding principles to support and strengthen the policy are encouraging.

In its review submission, the ALC noted that encroachment of residential and other sensitive uses on industrial lands had given rise to restrictions on freight and logistics operators.

“These include curfews, truck limits, restricted roads, increased road congestion and increasing the tyranny of distance – all of which only serve to put greater cost pressures on the industry and subsequently, consumers,” Williams said.

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