NSW and SA budgets earn industry praise
Congestion relief projects and upgrades are welcome
Construction of road infrastructure attracts large budgetary commitments
Industry groups mostly cater for South Australia and New South Wales budgets, but they’re not immune to a boost here and there.
The South African government is right to boast about its heavy allocation for road infrastructure in its 2021-22 budget, the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) said.
NatRoad considers the announcement of continued funding for the Adelaide North-South Corridor to be good news for heavy vehicle operators.
“The commitment to repair the 10.5 kilometer section between River Torrens and Darlington (T2D) is the last piece of the north-south corridor,” said CEO Warren Clark.
“The southern route was once a two-lane highway with many problems including low traffic problems due to a high number of controlled intersections.
“Most trucks had to go in the right lane rather than staying to the left due to the camber in the road and the placement of the utility poles.
“Once the River Torrens-Darlington section is complete, it will provide a limited access route from the north of Gawler to the southern suburbs.
“We have already seen improvements with previous work on the North-South Corridor and it is satisfying to know that the South African and Commonwealth governments have listened and are acting.”
NatRoad applauds the $ 202 million for the Truro bypass and the Sturt Highway upgrade that will improve access for freight vehicles.
A $ 105 million commitment to SA’s road safety program in addition to previous funding and a $ 36 million renovation of the Old Murray Bridge were other big ticket items.
Learn more about SA budget spending pledges, here
North-South Corridor costs have increased by $ 1 billion to a total of $ 9.9 billion, but this ensures a third lane in each direction as well as an allocation for emergency services, observes SA Freight. Council (SAFC).
“This is a significant improvement in design and helps to ‘sustain’ the largest transport infrastructure project ever carried out by SA,” he says.
“From the perspective of the SAFC, the most satisfying is the significant increase in road maintenance spending – up to $ 283 million in 2021/22 thanks to the state and Commonwealth Covid stimulus measures.
“This is enough to make us expect the backlog of road maintenance to decrease for the first time in a decade (at least).
“However, the improvement hinges on significant stimulus funds that will cease in 2022/23.
“Thus, road maintenance will remain an advocacy priority for the SAFC to maintain this momentum; alongside our powerful allies in the RAA and the SA Chamber of Mines and Energy.
“Finally, most of you will have seen the announcement of the cancellation of the Hove crossing project.
“While not a critical freight issue, the treasurer announced in the budget lockdown that this had resulted in $ 170 million in ’emergency transportation funding’ in the budget – which would constitute a substantial electoral war chest for the March 2022 poll. We will be watching this space with interest. “
New South Wales
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) hailed the NSW budget as a step towards cutting red tape as well as investing in critical infrastructure.
The ALC also welcomes the pledge made in the budget speech by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet to report every six months on the progress of implementing the content of the Productivity Commission White Paper. of State.
However, LAC Acting CEO Rachel Smith notes it falls short of budget with an indication of progress in the whole-of-government assessment of the costs and benefits of permanently removing the relaxed regulations in the United States. stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic, such as curfews restricting freight movements.
“Evaluation was an important part of the last budget,” says Smith.
“It is therefore important that the status of the evaluation process is reported in the budget and not in six months. ALC hopes that progress can be reported through the Estimates Committee process.
“ALC hopes that progress can be reported through the Estimates Committee process.”
Plans were also lacking to address the failure to meet Port Botany’s “badly missed” rail freight target of 28 percent of the total land load by this year – a “disappointing aspect of the budget”.
“The intention behind the goal is to dramatically reduce the number of heavy vehicles on Sydney’s roads, and thereby reduce the impacts of congestion on productivity,” Smith said.
“It is imperative that the government take immediate action to ensure that this long-missed goal is actually achieved.”
ALC supports investment in:
- The Sydney Gateway motorway connecting the WestConnex St Peter’s interchange with the airport and port area of Botany, “which will play an important role in improving freight access to and from the state’s main ports “
- Parkes Special Activation Precinct, “which will facilitate the efficient operation of the inland railway project and thereby enable rail to take an increasing share of freight, thereby removing pressure on New South Wales roads” .
However, Smith cautions against under-delivering on infrastructure commitments.
She notes Perrottet’s reported quote on labor and skill shortages
“For the industry to be able to make plans, it is imperative that the government keep the community informed of any delays in infrastructure development resulting from labor constraints,” Smith said.
For its part, NatRoad considers that much of the funding for ongoing projects such as WestConnex and Western Sydney Growth Roads is “expected but welcome”.
CEO Warren Clark criticizes the late start of construction of the Sydney Gateway connecting Sydney Airport and Port Botany to the city’s motorway network, saying the $ 1.1 billion pledge was “long overdue” .
“The construction of the new Sydney Airport and related development is clearly a big driver of a lot of what’s in this budget,” he says.
“We are certainly excited to see $ 899.7 million over the next four years for the Western Sydney Growth Roads program, which will make the movement of heavy vehicles safer and more efficient.
“We also welcome the emphasis on key regional routes which recognizes their importance to the national freight task.”
Clark says freight times would improve with a four-year, $ 2 billion commitment to continue the transformation of the Princes Highway in northern New South Wales.
“The start of the Coffs Harbor bypass, the Great Western Highway modernization program between Katoomba-Lithgow and Kelso in Raglan and $ 52.6 million for continued Barton Road improvements are some of the other highlights. regional.
“NSW and Commonwealth government funding will continue priority projects including the Mount Ousley interchange, the Milton Ulladulla and Moruya bypasses, and construction of the Nowra and Batemans Bay bridges. “
Clark cites two more modest announcements – $ 37 million for the duplication of Heathcote Road between Heathcote and Holsworthy and $ 14 million for the duplication of Picton Road between Mt Ousley and Wilton – of note.
“The funding is for planning work, but many NatRoad members will be relieved to see both projects ramp up,” Clark said.
“Improving safety and connectivity on Picton Road was added to Infrastructure Australia’s priority list two years ago, in recognition of being a key link for the Illawarra region, the south coast , Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.
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