DECEITFUL DENIAL OF CONGESTION PROJECTS IN SOUTH-EAST SYDNEY: PORTALS AT BOTANY AND F6 FROM ROCKDALE TO WOLLONGONG & DEFIANCE OF PRIME MINISTER MORRISON
The “Botany Club” comprises iA and DIRD, TfNSW, the Port Corporation with its Chullora (Asciano but minor), Enfield and Cooks River depots; and the Moorebank company which is a child of Federal intervention. The most ridiculous aspect of all is containerising grain at Cooks River instead of out of the inland silos.
Excluded from The Club are DP World’s new depot operations at the Port, National Rail’s terminal at St Marys, and most significant of all, Eastern Creek and Badgerys Creek. The State has done almost nothing strategic to re-balance employment from east to west and to have containers trucked through empty-ish spaces instead of intensive eastern suburbs. The Club is explicitly seeking to extend trucking laissez-faire up to 2040, bugger the costs to the community..
The critical limitation is trucking. The Port has an arrogant position that it will take throughput to 7.2 million TEU per year, hang the social contract. That over-focus on the “Botany Club” monopoly has disastrous consequences for the Bayside, St George and Sutherland communities. (The councils and MsP through the Seabord lack awareness of strategic issues, but are understandably concerned at neighbourhood impacts.)
TfNSW got the mythology right in its current documentation: The F6 Extension Stage 1 has been identified in the October 2017 draft Future Transport Strategy 2056, as a committed transport initiative for New South Wales for the next 10 years, subject to a final business case. That would not satisfy any real community engagement guidelines.
The NSW Ports and Roads Minister’s Press Release at June Budget time stated that 4 kms had been funded at up to $50 million of a likely $2.6 billion, and that “connection tunnels to facilitate future components of the F6 between Kogarah and Loftus, which are in development”, were included. The previous year she made much the same announcement but cut-out the 4th extension stage to Waterfall because of (predictable) impacts on houses and National Park. The whole cycle is “arse-about” in Greiner’s words.
In other words, trucks numbers will drop no time real soon. Port Botany is a mess, not a solution. The new Freight & Ports Strategy is a blaumange. Two-thirds of Botany’s railings will be going to terminals with 900 metre down to 600 metre sidings, meaning Botany’s capacity calculations are more than 40% over-estimated. Is Enfield expected to break trains on arrival and shunt the two halves separately, which is a productivity nightmare?
That will pump up truck numbers, as will the short distance and double-handling costs within such a small radius of the Port. None of the various Port planning documents reference the Hon Milton Morris’s Enfield Inquiry report for Carl Scully, which forced a down-grading of IMT capacity – part of the “social contract” applying to all facilities.
Trucks through Sutherland will grow with car importing at Kembla. There are over 7,000 heavy trucks per day on Mt Ousley and beyond (2.4 million a year), a 26% increase since Carr’s decision in 2003 to close the Working Harbour. Updating the 2003 estimate of 113,000 car trucks per annum produces the estimate of 205,000 trucks in 2025 – and the F6 will not be built by then.
NSW Ports expects car imports to grow from 390,000 in 2015 to up to 560,000 in 2025 which is 44% increase; and up to 850,000 in 2045. The local depot (instead of railing ) at Kembla Grange doubles the number of truck trips per ship as does Moorebank Terminal more or less.
The new PM, Scott Morrison, has long been a supporter of the F6 running under Sutherland, but Berejiklian barred TfNSW from considering transit options and the trucking issues on the Princes Highway and Picton Road, as two major examples, need earlier resolution than NSW can or Berejiklian is willing to provide. His Backyard is filling with trucks from both ends, north and south and his opponent is Berejiklian.