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Delivering sustainability

Future Transport Strategy

Embedding resilience

It is clearly recognised that certain trends are disrupting the industry sector and transport in a way that we have never experienced in the past. Various shocks and stresses can have an impact on the transport sector, our customers and the community, and climate change as well as natural disasters are among the top risks.

Transport for NSW seeks to plan, develop and manage a resilient and reliable network, and services that are responsive to the requirements of customers. It will do this by addressing the challenges of extreme weather and physical impacts caused by climate change, incorporating climate change risk assessment in the early stages of all projects and managing identified risks throughout the asset project lifecycle.

We also seek to ensure an integrated approach to resilience that not only improves our transport network and asset resilience to climate change but also to other shocks and stressors, for example pandemics or social instability.

We aim to address three types of resilience: place-based (community and environmental), resilience of our assets, and resilience of our organisation, which aligns with the key outcomes identified in the NSW Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy. The relationship between these three components of resilience is complex, and we aim to develop an integrated approach involving both government and industry partners.

Our resilience task is consistent with the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework long term aspirational objective NSW is more resilient to a changing climate. Ensuring all of our assets can be progressively made climate change resilient is an integral part of the overall asset resilience task. Transport for NSW aims to investigate the resilience of our existing assets to climate changes, as well as the impact on communities and vulnerable groups. 

Designs of older road and rail assets may not cater for future climate impacts and therefore, some of these are under a significant risk of damage and failure with changes in climate. There is also a need to develop and implement identified adaptation measures in the design and construction of our new assets.

In order to improve asset resilience, consistent methods for both data collection and lessons learnt are essential. We aim to ensure that we incorporate the most up-to-date information into climate change risk analysis and identify both direct and indirect risks at the early stage of all our projects and during construction of new assets, when the success of implementation of adaptation measures is the highest.

Working together and co-operatively is the centre of overall resilience and the resilience of our organisation. Improved data and information sharing will enable us to ensure an evidence-based approach in decision making for all our projects, and clearly define roles and responsibilities for climate change adaptation planning.

Preventing and minimising pollution

Environmental pollution negatively impacts on ecosystems and human health. Transport for NSW seeks to minimise pollution by implementing pollution prevention measures that are integrated into the design, construction and operation of infrastructure and comply (at a minimum) with relevant environmental regulations. We apply rigorous processes to identify and minimise environmental risks and comply with relevant environmental regulations.


Biodiversity and enriching urban nature

Protecting and enhancing biodiversity

Transport for NSW continues to be a recognised Australia-wide leader in biodiversity offsetting and strategically plans for its offset obligations as early as possible in the project development lifecycle, making use of its own land portfolio to source biodiversity credits. We support a whole-of-government approach to building ecologically sensitive infrastructure and achieving no net loss to biodiversity. 

Transport for NSW is already a leader in the provision of ecologically sensitive infrastructure particularly in regional areas of NSW. A range of approaches are used, including actions to augment habitat lost from development (such as by building bat habitat into bridge design and installing artificial hollows and nest boxes) and maintaining ecological connectivity across landscapes (such as through the provision of fish friendly culverts, rope bridges, glider poles and dedicated fauna underpasses and overpasses).

Enriching urban nature

Transport for NSW is committed to improving the liveability and urban ecology of our towns and cities by integrating and prioritising green infrastructure in Transport projects through tree planting, open space creation and transport landscape programs, in line with the NSW Premier’s Priorities Greener Public Spaces and Greening our City.

Transport for NSW will work to enrich our cities with nature through maintaining and improving existing high-quality transport landscapes or transforming underutilised transport land into a valued component of our State’s green infrastructure system. 

Transport for NSW has successfully integrated green urban spaces in urban design for a number of new infrastructure projects (such as WestConnex Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 projects). Current major urban infrastructure projects are delivering significant gains for local amenity and the landscape, through the creation of parklands associated with infrastructure, enhancing the transport soft estate and implementing street tree planting.


Cyber security

Cyber security plays an important part of the overall resilience of Transport for NSW. 

Strong cyber security is an important component of the NSW Government’s Beyond Digital Strategy, enabling the effective use of emerging technologies and ensuring confidence in the services provided by the NSW Government. Cyber security covers all measures used to protect systems – and information processed, stored or communicated on these systems – from compromises of confidentiality, integrity and availability.

Cyber security is becoming more important for Transport for NSW as cyber risks continue to evolve. There are three significant drivers for a focus on cyber security in Transport for NSW:

  • An increasing reliance on available and reliable data for decisions at all levels, from operational to strategic decisions.
  • The increasing reliance on connected technologies (such as smart freight networks, and smart motorways).
  • Increasing reliance on third parties and industry for transport services.

Transport for NSW is implementing the NSW Cyber Security Policy and will continue to improve its capability and policies, as cyber security requires continued effort and improvements to tackle evolving threats. 


Future directions to investigate:

  • As part of Transport for NSW’s asset management framework, determine a significant climate change risk profile for existing and planned infrastructure assets and identify the most efficient and effective adaptation strategies over time.
  • Continue to investigate and invest in tools to manage and respond to shocks when they occur, such as new live traffic monitors to give real time information.
  • Conduct a resilience assessment for all communities and places that interact with transport activities.
  • Support NSW Government initiatives to determine and visualise the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events.
  • Identify infrastructure and service sector interdependencies during significant climatic events, to inform future asset management, operational delivery and emergency response.
  • Adopt reporting systems to track and integrate extreme weather data and associated impacts.
  • Investigate new design methodologies, materials and technologies for infrastructure maintenance and construction, to enhance climate change resilience.
  • Continue to work with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on State-level emergency risk assessments, as well as mitigation, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities.
  • Address climate change adaptation within corporate planning and business planning processes.
  • Contribute to the NSW Government’s climate change actions.
  • Continue to develop Transport for NSW’s Climate Change Risk Assessment Framework.
  • Influence contractors, sub-contractors and material suppliers to develop and implement climate change resilient designs.
  • Conduct a resilience assessment for all communities and places that interact with transport activities.
  • Implement the NSW Cyber Security Policy and continue to improve Transport for NSW’s cyber security capabilities.

Six principles for Future Transport

The Future Transport 2056 Strategy is focused on six key principles for the future of mobility in the state, which together aim to positively impact the economy, communities and environment of NSW.

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