A RAIL freight bypass of Sydney – between the Port of Newcastle in the north and Glenfield in the south – would provide lowest-cost rail transport for containers, not only for the Sydney market, but for all of southern NSW and Victoria, while northern NSW would be served from Newcastle. The extraordinary regional economic development opportunities thus created would allow land value capture to underpin the cost of the railway, if railing containers alone was not sufficient. NSW Ports estimates Port Botany container throughput of 8.4 million in 2045 but only 3 million on rail, without demonstrating how a 10-fold increase from the current rail throughput will be achieved, and funded. The demise of coal exports will release valuable deep-water berths at the Port of Newcastle for replacing coal loaders with container terminals thus allowing for virtually unlimited long-term expansion.
Greg Cameron, Florey