Comment – Greg Cameron
All Sydney-bound container ships pass-by Newcastle, heading south. The containers can be unloaded in Newcastle at the former steelworks site, which remains vacant, and railed to a new, single, intermodal terminal (IMT) in north-western Sydney. There will be no need to carry containers by truck. In addition to improving performance of Sydney’s road system, Sydney’s stressed urban infrastructure will benefit as economic growth in northern regions enables decentralisation.
But with unlimited expansion of Port Botany container terminal, expanding Sydney’s M5 East is essential. The westbound tunnel is the most vulnerable section, with one heavy truck being the equivalent of six passenger vehicles (RTA, 2009). In 2010/11, trucks carried around 1.74 million TEU through the M5 East’s tunnels – 86% of all container movements; while trains carried 250,000 TEU