The CEO of Port Kembla Port Corporation (PKPC) was "surprised" the Maldon-Dombarton rail link wasn't mentioned in the federal government's recently released freight strategy document.
The National Land Freight Strategy was released on Friday by federal infrastructure and transport minister Anthony Albanese.
"Our aim is to build and maintain a modern, well-planned, efficient and safe freight and logistics network that supports, rather than hinders, Australia's future economic development," Mr Albanese said.
Port Kembla, one of the major ports in NSW, is mentioned just twice in the 62-page document. One of those mentions related to rail access to Sydney, stating "the Sydney metropolitan rail network, which extends to near Newcastle and Port Kembla, has long been a bottleneck inhibiting the potential of rail freight. Overcoming this bottleneck requires consideration of complex planning matters and of freight rights".
That would seem to point towards the completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link but it gets no mention in the strategy.
"It is a little bit surprising that Maldon-Dombarton was excluded given that the federal government has allocated $25 million to have it shovel-ready," said PKPC CEO Dom Figliomeni.
"The NSW government has recognised the importance of Maldon-Dombarton in its strategy, the federal government has allocated money to get the project shovel-ready and it's got a diversity of support from a number of local councils, so I was surprised that it wasn't included."
Mr Figliomeni said "rail is definitely vital for the future growth of the port" and that the Maldon-Dombarton was a crucial part of this.
Yet he was not concerned about the absence of the Maldon-Dombarton rail line, or the few mentions of Port Kembla, because he saw this as a "policy document" and expected things to be fleshed out in more detail during the implementation of the policy.
"To me the important thing is that the Maldon-Dombarton project has got quite a diversity of need and acceptance and it's important that momentum continues."
A federal government spokesman said the Maldon-Dombarton rail-line was still on.
"We are committed to getting the project shovel-ready and that work will begin very shortly."
He said the line was not mentioned in the strategy because its aim was to provide an overview, rather than specifics.
"The purpose of the National Land Freight Strategy is to set out some broad principles and recommendations as to how we can plan the freight network of the future," he said.