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Monday, 14 March 2005
Page: 139


Senator Mark Bishop asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 17 December 2004:

(1)   As part of its role of monitoring productivity on the waterfront, what information is available to the department and its agencies on the movement of containers to and from stevedores’ facilities by rail and road, storage times, waiting times for delivery, storage costs and cancelled pick-up slots.

(2)   What formal arrangements exist with the Australian Customs Service for monitoring the movement of containers through x-ray facilities, delays caused, costs and cancelled pick-up slots.

(3)   What research has been conducted by the department and its agencies into access by road and rail at each Australian container port, particularly Port Botany.

(4)   What consultation has been conducted with the New South Wales Government on improving port access by road and rail to Port Botany.


Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   The Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BTRE), reports on a key aspect of stevedoring productivity in its Waterline publication, the loading and unloading of containers on ships. The BTRE does not collect information on the movement of containers to and from stevedores’ facilities by rail and road, storage times, waiting times for delivery, storage costs and cancelled pick-up slots.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also monitors container stevedoring services. State port authorities and individual stevedoring firms are of course responsible for owning and operating port and stevedoring facilities.

(2)   There are no formal arrangements between the Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS) and the Australian Customs Service (ACS) for monitoring the movement of containers, as this is the responsibility of the ACS. The ACS has an officer seconded to DOTARS to provide relevant information and liaison on transport security, including on security matters concerning containers.

(3)   The BTRE has a project titled “Improving land transport access for Australia’s capital city ports” in its current research programme. While the project is yet to commence, the attached extract of a presentation to the July 2004 AAPMA conference provides information on the past, current and targeted rail share of port freight for four major capital city ports, including Port Botany.

(4)   DOTARS consulted with the New South Wales Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, the New South Wales Roads Traffic Authority and the Australian Rail Track Corporation in relation to determining the AusLink National Network and investment priorities for improving access to Port Botany.

Australian Government

Department of Transport and Regional Services

Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics

Capital city port freight—road will continue to dominate but growing rail share is targeted

Rail mode share‡, by port

Past

Current

Targets

Port Botany

13%* [1995]

25%*

40%* [2010]

Fremantle

3%* [2002]

5%*

30%* [2013]

Brisbane

23%* [1998/99]

12.9%* [203/04]

25%* [2010]

Melbourne

10%† [1996]

17%†

30%† [2010]

† percentage of port-related freight, measured in tonnes.

* percentage of containers handled through the port.

‡ share may be defined in terms of tonnage or TEUs.