SAFC pushes case for North South Corridor action


Knapp welcomes road and port pledges but want concrete commitments

SAFC pushes case for North South Corridor action
Evan Knapp wants a significant spending commitment on building the North South Corridor itself

 

The South Australian Freight Council (SAFC) was weighed in on the state election saying action on the North South Corridor is crucial for the state economy.

The state’s peak transport industry lobby group welcomed the SA Liberal’s recognition that "the North South Corridor is the single most important road infrastructure project in South Australia", as highlighted by state Liberal leader Steven Marshall, but it wants more.

"We wholeheartedly agree with Mr Marshall about the importance of the North South Corridor, and we welcome funding to ensure the remaining business cases are completed," SAFC executive officer Evan Knapp says.

"However, we note there is no financial commitment to the infrastructure itself. South Australia needs to come up with 20 per cent of the funding for each project on the corridor.

"SAFC prefers the North South Corridor is built from north to south, continuing next with the Regency Road to Pym Street project, which we understand has languished waiting for Infrastructure Australia approval for many months.

"Completion of this project will link the South Road Superway and ‘Torrens to Torrens’ Projects, offering the greatest benefits to both the freight industry and general public.

"Future projects should then begin at the River Torrens and extend south, extending the uninterrupted length of road."

The SAFC calls on all parties to:

commit to matching (or beating) the Liberals timeframe for all North South Corridor business cases to be completed and submitted to Infrastructure Australia

match (or exceed) Labor’s funding commitment to physical infrastructure on the Corridor

Marshall, who says that until the project is complete, "we won’t secure the full benefit from those sections already constructed", has ruled out tolls for financing any section of it.

"As Adelaide’s most important road corridor for commuter and freight traffic, it’s vital that this project is completed to alleviate pressure on our arterial road network and to support much more efficient movement of local, interstate and international freight," he adds.

Marshall has promised:

detailed concept planning including traffic modelling

consultation with local government, utilities and the community

firming up of cost estimates and developing an implementation plan

undertaking financial and economic analysis

developing a procurement strategy and work packages which provide South Australian businesses with opportunities to be included.

Elsewhere, Labor has promised a new $700 million port for the upper Spencer Gulf, which the SAFC has welcomed.

"The mining and agricultural sectors have been calling for improved deep-water bulk port facilities in the Eyre Peninsula/Upper Spencer Gulf region for some time," Knapp says.

"There are several mining ventures in the region that could potentially benefit from a new deep-water export facility now, with more large projects in the development pipeline – like Iron Road’s Central Eyre iron project and Oz Minerals Carrapateena copper project."

Knapp notes a deep-water facility will allow capesize ships – those too large to use the Panama Canal – to call into the region and export commodities "in the most economically efficient manner, cutting transport costs and increasing both profits and job opportunities in these sectors".

"The commitment to a multi-user facility will ensure that all current and prospective exporters – whether mining or grain – will be able to access the port on reasonable terms, providing equal opportunity for all to increase South Australia’s exports," he says.

"We also note with interest Labor’s commitment to a ‘Road, Rail and Port Plan’," he said.

"SAFC stands ready to provide transport industry perspectives in the development of any transport plans and strategies committed to by whichever party or parties form Government following the election on March 17."

 

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