NSW calls for national ports strategy

NSW wants the NTC to expand its influence into maritime issues, ports and port landside links

NSW wants the National Transport Commission to expand its influence into maritime issues, ports and port landside links.

Ports Minister Joe Tripodi says ports must be given greater precedence in the development of national transport reforms due to their role in the supply chain.

He wants the NTC to develop a national ports strategy and ensure issues such as land, sea and resources management, port ownership and infrastructure investment are given a top priority.

"Australia’s ports are essential to its economic welfare, with 90 per cent of our trade going through our ports. They are dependent nodes in critical export and import supply chains," Tripodi says.

The Rees Government will make the recommendations in its submission to the Review of the NTC, while also advocating the Australian Transport Council (ATC) to hold at least one meeting each year to discuss port and maritime matters.

"The aim is to promote greater consistency in port regulation and reforms nationally," Tripodi says.

Ports Australia has backed the move, saying Tripodi recognises ports as a crucial part of the supply chain.

Ports Australia Executive Officer Susan Fryda- Blackwell says during the current economic downturn many ports were looking at expanding and remained "substantial engines of activity" while other industries faltered.

Meanwhile Tripodi has also announced that the Newcastle Port Corporation (NPC) has been given full development control over the former BHP Steelworks site at Mayfield.

Tripodi says the NPC is seeking proposals from interested parties in regards to "high quality terminal and infrastructure projects" for the site.

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