NSW Parliament report backs sub-three hour freight time between the Central West and Western Sydney to grow food economy
18 Oct 2018
The Western Sydney Business Chamber has called for bipartisan support to implement recommendations to reduce freight travel times between Central Western NSW and Western Sydney to turbocharge the state’s fresh food economy.
The recommendations were included in the report by the NSW Legislative Council’s inquiry into fresh food, released today.
“The Chamber welcomes the recommendations of the inquiry, especially that fresh food is delivered from our famers, over the Great Dividing Range, to Western Sydney in a sub-three hour journey,” said Western Sydney Business Chamber Director David Borger.
“It is important rail and road corridors are improved to ensure Western Sydney residents have access to fresh produce.
“The recommendation the Government convene a taskforce to expedite the development of a plan to improve freight connections should be a matter of priority,” Mr Borger said.
“With the Western Sydney Airport opening in 2026, it is vital better freight connections are put in place now to also allow for fresh produce to be flown to international markets.
“Getting food from paddock to plate to the booming Asia-Pacific middle class is an opportunity that we simply cannot afford to miss out on,” he said.
“According to a discussion paper by the NSW Farmers’ Association, improving linkages between Western Sydney and the Central West will revitalise traditional agricultural supply chains and significantly improve its international competitiveness.
“A sub-three hour journey could also open up a lucrative east-west visitor economy starting at the new airport through to the Blue Mountains and the Central West.
“This can facilitate the establishment of the food economy and can transform major food producing regions like the Central West into regional economic powerhouses, reinvigorating regional food processing and manufacturing,” Mr Borger said.
The Chamber calls on the NSW Government and Opposition to support the recommendations.