Andrew Barr to explore freight expansion on trade mission to Singapore
Chief minister Andrew Barr will meet with the head of Singapore Airlines to further bolster Canberra as a freight hub while on a trade mission to the country.
Mr Barr flew to Singapore on Friday night with what he described as “the largest delegation of Canberra businesses in the ACT’s history” to pitch to more than 100 investors.
“We’ll be touring some freight facilities in Singapore and meeting with a number of key stakeholders in this area of endeavour where we’re hoping to increase the Canberra region export effort,” Mr Barr said.
“That’s going to be a great opportunity not only for ACT based exporters but also people from the broader region to use Canberra airport as an exporting point.”
Canberra Business Chamber chief executive Robyn Hendry said to boost freight, the ACT needed to create interconnectivity between its airport and the wider region.
“There’s big advantages to go through Canberra, particularly given the flight times. If you get to Sydney at the end of the day with your goods, you’ll have to wait until the following day because of the curfew to get them out. If you get to Canberra at 5pm we can still get them out,” Ms Hendry said.
“We have a natural competitive advantage because we don’t have the curfew and we have produce all around us, not least the oysters on the Eurobodalla South Coast down to Merimbula.
“Time is very important in moving those goods so we think if we can get the supply chain right that encourages people not to ship through the major centres, because there’s more congestion, and take advantage of coming through here, it will then sustain more flights because airlines need what’s underneath the hull not just who’s sitting in the seats.”