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Roads Australia Insider - April 18, 2019


Victoria’s growth challenge 'front and centre' in review of 30-year strategy

Infrastructure Victoria has called for better integration of land use and transport infrastructure and more targeted regional infrastructure initiatives to help the State reap the benefits of its unprecedented population growth.

The independent infrastructure adviser this week released a discussion paper - Growing Victoria’s Potential – as the first in a series of releases that will occur throughout 2019 as part of the update of the 30-year infrastructure strategy.

Underpinning the paper is a package of research developed over the past year, including an examination of the cost of infrastructure provision in different development settings and regional and metropolitan profiles.

Infrastructure Victoria Chief Executive Officer, Michel Masson, said the update of the 30-year strategy would include a focus on how to make the most of Victoria’s regions, what level of density was right for a growing Melbourne ,and how to ensure the right infrastructure was in the right place at the right time.”

Mr Masson said planning for growth required honest conversations on some complex issues because decisions about infrastructure would all come with trade- offs.

“If we want to increase infrastructure service levels, then we need to think about the level of density that will be required to support it,” he said.

“If we want to grow our regions, then we need to talk about the unique strengths each region has and the challenges they face.

“We know that when it comes to infrastructure, we can’t do everything and we can’t do it all at once, so we need to consider the benefits, impacts and costs of all the available options in order to prioritise what we need to do where, and when.

“Through our work we will continue to look at how we manage demand and how we get the most out of our existing infrastructure because we know that adding new infrastructure will only ever be part of the solution.

“Over the next year, we will talk to people right across the state about how infrastructure can help grow Victoria’s potential and I encourage everyone to join the conversation,” Mr Masson said.

The updated 30-year infrastructure strategy will be delivered to Parliament in mid-2020.


$1.7 billion transformation of Tonkin Highway and eastern corridor

The WA Government has heralded a major roads package as part of the 2019-20 State Budget, aimed at transforming roads across Perth's eastern suburbs and throughout the Tonkin Highway corridor.

Premier Mark McGowan says this year's State Budget will include $1.52 billion for eight new road projects across the eastern suburbs, with a further $156 million already committed for eastern suburban projects, including completing the Reid Highway duplication and the Roe Highway-Kalamunda Road interchange.

The Tonkin Highway Transformation will get underway in 2020, and includes:

  • Tonkin Highway Gap - widening Tonkin Highway from Great Eastern Highway to just north of Guildford Road ($58 million State, $232 million Federal);
  • Tonkin Highway grade separated interchanges at Kelvin and Welshpool roads and a new flyover at Hale Road ($73 million State, $293 million Federal); and
  • Tonkin Highway extension from Thomas Road to South Western Highway in Mundijong ($101 million State, $404 million Federal).

The Roe Highway package of projects will also start in 2020, creating 1,050 jobs:

  • Great Eastern Highway Bypass grade separated interchanges at Roe Highway and Abernethy Road ($36 million State, $144 million Federal); and
  • Abernethy Road Upgrade ($13.25 million State, $13.25 million Federal).

The seventh most congested intersection at Leach Highway and Welshpool Road will also be fixed with a grade separated interchange, creating 400 jobs ($46.5 million State, $46.5 million Federal), with construction starting in 2020.

Further works to commence in the eastern suburbs in 2020 will include:

  • Lloyd Street Extension from Great Eastern Highway Bypass to Clayton Street in Midland ($20 million State, $20 million Federal), creating 245 jobs; and
  • Thomas Road and Nicholson Road intersection upgrade in Oakford ($10 million State, $10 million Federal), creating 105 jobs.

Mr McGowan says with Budget certainty, the State Government will now proceed with the final detailed design and necessary environmental approvals.

“The Government has successfully made the case for this investment with both the Federal Government and Opposition, laying the groundwork of planning, business case preparation and ongoing advocacy,” he added.

“This has paid off - securing the Commonwealth contributions for each of the projects in its recent budget and securing a commitment from Federal Labor to at least match the funding in the Federal Budget.”

Draft strategy looks to the future for transport in Qld

Automated vehicles, drones and working towards a zero-emission transport network are in the sights of the Queensland Government as part of its new 30-year transport plan.

Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, announced this week that consultation was open for the draft Queensland Transport Strategy, outlining how the State Government plans to embrace new and emerging technologies to drive the transport sector and create jobs.

“Every day more than four million Queenslanders use some form of transport to travel from A to B,” the Minister said.

“With projections showing that number will grow by 58 per cent over the next 30 years, the draft transport strategy will provide a long-term direction for how use technology to meet the needs of all Queenslanders.”

Mr Bailey said Queensland was already home to the world’s longest electric vehicle super highway as well as thriving EV-based businesses like Tritium.

“This strategy will look at how we can build on that success, and in- line with our Advancing Queensland Priorities, create jobs in a strong economy,” he added.

Consultation on the draft strategy is open until May 24, with the strategy to be finalised later this year.

SA launches strategy to bust congestion

The South Australian Government has launched its Keeping Metro Traffic Moving initiative, aimed at busting traffic congestion across Adelaide.

The launch this week came as the Government announced an extension of clearway operating times, set to come into effect by the end of June, on portions of key metropolitan roads including Sir Donald Bradman Drive, South Road, Northcote Terrace, Nottage Terrace, Payneham Road and North Terrace, Flinders Street, Marion Road, Goodwood Road, Port Road and Unley and Belair Roads.

“Keeping Metro Traffic Moving involves a range of measures to help bust congestion across Adelaide, reduce travel times and get people home sooner,” said Minister for Transport, infrastructure and Local Government, Stephan Knoll.

“This initiative will involve a range of measures including intersection and road upgrades, level crossing upgrades, safety improvements, bus priority lanes, bus indents and a host of other solutions.


Transport cluster starts to take new shape in NSW

More details have come out on the new arrangements from the NSW transport cluster, including leadership appointments and interim arrangements.

The new divisions and their leaders are:

  • Urban – Elizabeth Mildwater, Deputy Secretary
  • Regional – Matt Fuller, Acting Deputy Secretary
  • Customer, Strategy and Technology – Rachel Wheeler, Acting Deputy Secretary
  • Infrastructure and Place – Peter Regan, Deputy Secretary
  • Corporate Services – Anne Hayes, Deputy Secretary
  • People and Culture – Kirsten Watson, Acting Chief People Officer
  • Office of the Secretary – Alison Cunningham, Executive Director

An announcement is still to be made on the new Regulation Division.

Transport cluster chief executives Howard Collins (Sydney Trains), Steffen Faurby (STA) and Jon Lamonte (Sydney Metro) remain in their current roles and respective agencies in the Urban division. Pete Allaway is be Acting Chief Executive of NSW TrainLink in the Regional division.

Marg Prendergast continues as Coordinator General, Transport Coordination within the Urban Division.

TfNSW Deputy Secretary Clare Gardiner-Barnes and RMS CEO Ken Kanofski are in discussion for roles in other parts of government and took leave from 12 April.

Fiona Trussell is acting in the CEO role at RMS and is charged with working on joining TfNSW and RMS together in the new operating model.

The Freight, Strategy and Planning Division previously headed by Clare now reports to Rachel Wheeler, with work beginning on the design of the new Customer, Strategy and Technology division.

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