SA Government abandons GlobeLink following release of business case
The South Australian Government says it will investigate several alternate road connectivity options after announcing this week it would not proceed with the controversial GlobeLink freight project.
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll says other options will be investigated to see if they can deliver on the long-term objectives of GlobeLink, after completion of the North-South Corridor.
These options include upgrades to Cross Road and new road freight routes, which the Minister says could potentially bypass the South Eastern Freeway to the North-South Corridor or Adelaide’s North.
GlobeLink was proposed in early 2017 by the then Liberal Opposition. On coming to power, the Liberals commissioned KPMG to undertake an independent business case to test the viability of the project.
GlobeLink was a proposal for a road and rail corridor behind the Adelaide Hills, connecting the National Highway and rail link from Victoria to northern Adelaide, as well an intermodal export park and freight-only airport at the Murray Bridge end of the corridor.
The KPMG report said demand for the infrastructure solution would be too low, and the expected benefits too limited, to justify the project’s $7 billion price tag.
“The State Government has fulfilled its election promise to undertake a business case to investigate the viability of GlobeLink and is being open and transparent with the people of South Australia and has released the full independent report,” Mr Knoll said on Monday.
“The Government has accepted all recommendations in the KPMG report and will not be progressing the original GlobeLink proposal.
“The Government is clearly disappointed with the results of the business case, but it’s become clear that this particular proposal doesn’t stack up.”
Mr Knoll said completion of the North-South Corridor, expected to cost in excess of $5.4 billion, was the Government’s number one infrastructure priority, and would improve road freight and South Australia’s economic productivity.
“The report identifies other possible options to link road freight with the North-South Corridor, which is something we will be exploring in the long term,” he went on to say.
“It’s also worth noting that many of the issues GlobeLink was initially designed to address have not materialised and, I am advised, are unlikely to be a problem in the medium-term.
“Particularly, with respect to the rail component, the report highlights that limited and declining volumes see limited relative economic benefit for the State.”
Queensland eyes largest-ever road rollout in 2020
The Queensland Government says 2020 will mark the start of the State’s biggest-ever road upgrade program.
Visiting the jointly-funded $812 million Bruce Highway upgrade on the Sunshine Coast earlier this month, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said shovels would hit the ground in 2020 on major projects along the length of the Bruce Highway as well as on billions of dollars’ worth of upgrades for the M1, Capricorn Highway, Ipswich Motorway and Smithfield Bypass.
More than 21,500 jobs will be supported by the $23 billion roads and transport investment, including 13,500 jobs for regional Queensland, he added.
Mr Bailey said major projects getting underway in 2020 included:
- $1 billion Bruce Highway upgrade Cooroy to Curra Section D– 576 jobs
- $1 billion M1 upgrade from Varsity Lakes to Tugun near the NSW border – 837 jobs
- $662 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Caboolture to Steve Irwin Way – 664 jobs
- $481 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Edmonton to Gordonvale in Cairns – 466 jobs
- $749 million M1 and busway upgrade at Logan – 721 jobs
- $712 million Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A – 760 jobs
- $550 million Sunshine Coast rail upgrade – 333 jobs
- $301 million Bruce Highway upgrade at Maroochydore Road and Mons Road interchanges – 382 jobs
- $110 million Mackay Northern Access upgrade - 154 jobs
- $150 million Bruce Highway interchange upgrade at Deception Bay – 270 jobs
- $44.5 million Springfield Central park ‘n’ ride upgrade – 44 jobs
Major projects already underway included:
- $104 million Cairns Southern Access upgrade from Kate Street to Aumuller Street – 113 jobs
- $514 million Haughton River Floodplain project at Giru, 40km south of Townsville – 544 jobs
- $497 million Mackay Ring Road – 534 jobs
- $121 million Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade – 260 jobs
- $75 million Capricorn Highway duplication, Gracemere – 187 jobs
- $812 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway – 680 jobs
- $400 million Ipswich Motorway upgrade from Rocklea to Darra – 471 jobs
- $195 million M1/M3 merge upgrade – 257 jobs
- $152 million Smithfield Bypass in Cairns – 115 jobs
- $197.5 million M1 upgrade from Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes – 257 jobs
- $80 million Sumners Road interchange – 105 jobs
- Warrego Highway upgrade at the Chinchilla open level crossing