For my mind, I have no issue in reducing air and noise pollution from the rail industry. The issue is the time frames for the introduction. The reality is that investment into new locomotives is a multi million dollar investment for a new asset. For a business to do that they must have certainty on return.
If the EPA has spoken to industry maybe a time frame could be agreed to. Eg 10 year road map. With that they should maybe incentivise eg if a new compliant loco is purchased that a credit is provided for a certain time period to operate a loco at a lower standard. I think that was the US approach. But a long time period is needed. Requiring this immediately is not practical.
If it is overnight it will kill industry, but doing the same is not is acceptable as rail needs to improve its performance like all industries for noise and air.
I don't hold much hope for NSW EPA to have a practical approach to policy timing, for example their approach to ban MWOO (mixed waste organic) to landfarming, killed 20 year plus contracts etc based on the previous legal
approach. Overnight they reacted to a report and banned it. So now it is a lawyers picnic and the NSW tax payers are paying for a reaction by them.
If they for exampled grandfathered current approvals and ban new approvals and renewals then they would have achieved without costing NSW tax payers a cent. No due to their impatience and poor strategic approach they cost industry and therefore the public heaps.
This will be the case here. They will introduce this. Cost industry heaps and the state will cough up in the other hand. They simply should require any operators in 10 years time to have conforming equipment. That way the industry will have work it out for themselves who wants to play in NSW or not.