South Burnett Directions is paving the way forward for better transport access into the South Burnett, with the first meeting with Transport Stakeholders and Transport and Main Roads held earlier this month.
Ian Sturdy, Department of Transport and Main Roads, updated the industry on key changes happening in the department with focus being on economic growth that road and bridge infrastructure can create. A summary of Ian’s comments are below:
- There is a change in policy culture in TMR to emphasising that road/bridge infrastructure is in place to make money for the economy
- Traditionally (generally speaking) TMR have conditioned assets for a lifetime of 100years
- TMR are considering public/private partnership options where the outcomes are positive for both parties and drive economic growth
- TMR are currently writing ‘Moving Queensland Freight’ strategy – http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/movingfreight
- TMR are also writing a vision for Heavy Vehicle Transport – Heavy Vehicle Network Plan
- TMR are considering conditional access when full upgrades are costly (even where upgrades are scheduled for a later date)
- Conditional Access can include items like, flashing/sensor signs that highlight oncoming traffic through to school hour restriction and speed limit restriction over bridges
- Transport operators have the option to ‘trial’ a route with TMR
- TMR are ironing out inconsistencies, instilling fair/equitable access
- TMR are currently considering telemetric information as part of an assessment of safety
- TMR are currently engaging with Queensland Trucking Association, Agforce and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator for advice
- Representations can be made to the Minister of Freight Council through Queensland Trucking Association, as well as the Operational Committee and Heavy Vehicle Safety Committee
- Only 3% of freight is moved by trucks
The industry stakeholders in the room gave feedback to Transport and Main Roads stating that:
- Agricultural growers choose the Western Downs over South Burnett due to transport access
- HMLs are unable to carry past Kilcoy and Fernvale due to (verbal estimate) two timber bridges at these locations
- Opening up the Tingoora Access would open up the South Burnett. You only need one road in and out for access.
- In the South Burnett we are logistically close to the start of the supply chain
- Council are part of the first mile/last mile planning with Wide-Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (WBBROC)
South Burnett Directions will continue to work with relevant departments and stakeholders for formal representation on the South Burnett’s behalf for heavy vehicle transport access.