Brisbane boom too much for infrastructure shortfall

Queensland told to encourage use of larger heavy vehicle combinations and build truck overpasses to meet surge in freight task

Queensland is being told to encourage greater use of larger heavy vehicle combinations and build truck overpasses to cope with a massive surge in the freight task over the next 17 years.

According to a study commissioned by Australia Trade Coast (ATC), south-east Queensland will be unable to cope with a forecast 90 percent jump in freight volumes by 2026.

The ATC’s Freight Study claims the Port of Brisbane and the Brisbane Airport will be inundated with freight movements in the coming years, but "we cannot continue to build our way out of trouble", according to ATC general manager Brett Fraser.

"By 20206 Queensland will need smarter transport initiatives to cope with the expected freight volume on increases to and from this important region – Australia’s largest trade and logistics area," ATC general manager Brett Fraser says.

"Such initiatives could include…optimised vehicle configurations [and]…replacing open-level crossings with overpasses on high-freight usage routes."

Fraser also wants a greater focus on streamlining the bureaucracy to reduce disruptions and the development of transport systems capable of managing incidents.

"It is imperative that authorities look beyond purely new infrastructure solutions and take a more sustainable and long-term view to managing road freight movements," he says.

According to the report, there will be a 97 percent increase in road freight movements to the Port of Brisbane, while the Brisbane Airport is predicted to more than double its share of domestic airfreight.

There will also be a three-fold increase in international airfreight, the study says.

Although rail may be seen as an option to ease the load on the road network, Fraser says a short-haul service and distribution centres are vital because 85 percent of freight from the Port of Brisbane has a destination within 50km.

"More flexible pricing and scheduling of services would also assist in making rail freight more attractive to industry," Fraser says.

The ATC plans to work with government and industry stakeholders to implement the study’s recommendations, with Fraser saying the group has already received positive feedback from Queensland Motorways.

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