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Rail freight operator Pacific National has warned the New South Wales government it risks losing future export container volumes to the ports of Melbourne and Brisbane if critical rail freight infrastructure is not upgraded or built within the next four years.
Pacific National CEO Dean Dalla Valle said the efficient running of regional freight trains in and out of Port Botany needs to be a top priority for the NSW government in its third term, stating, "It’s now or never.
"I’m confident the re-elected Berejiklian-Barilaro government has the will, expertise and funding to fix a longstanding problem for rail freight movements in NSW," Dalla Valle says.
"The concern is that running a container freight train in country NSW over the Great Dividing Range into Sydney will become too inefficient, unreliable and hence costly within four years, forcing many regional exporters to bypass Port Botany.
"Without timely upgrades to the state’s rail freight network, containerised goods and commodities from the Riverina will be more efficiently hauled to Port of Melbourne, while produce from northern and north-western NSW will be transported to Port of Brisbane."
Once Pacific National’s Parkes Logistics Terminal is fully up and running, it is expected more than 450,000 shipping containers from around Australia will be consolidated in central NSW.
"From Parkes, these containers can make their way to the port of Melbourne or Brisbane," Dalla Valle says.
"The future Inland Rail will make these haulage operations even more efficient.
"The NSW government needs to be acutely aware of these future competitive dynamics."
This article first appeared on www.fullyloaded.com.au
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