Knoll gains transport post in new SA government

New minister comes with business management pedigree

Knoll gains transport post in new SA government
Stephan Knoll


One-time general manager and long-term political operator Stephan Knoll is South Australia’s new transport and infrastructure minister.

Still in his mid-30s, Knoll has led his family’s Barossa Fine Foods smallgoods business as he made his way in politics, becoming a senior director at 22 before entering state parliament after being SA Young Liberals president.

Knoll, the former opposition police spokesman who now also has housing and urban development, city of Adelaide, local government, used part of his first parliamentary speech to champion small and medium enterprises.

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) backed the decision to give Knoll two crucial and related portfolios.

"It’s especially pleasing that a single minister will be responsible for both the Transport and Planning portfolios," ALC MD Michael Kilgariff says.

"One of the biggest challenges facing the logistics sector has been a continuing disconnect between those two key policy areas. Having a single minister responsible for both will prove an enormous advantage.

"This is particularly relevant regarding urban encroachment, where residential and commercial developments conflict with the safe and efficient use of port, railway and road infrastructure"

The ALC also supports the new government’s decision to create a dedicated infrastructure body.

"ALC was also pleased to note during the recent campaign that an incoming Marshall Government would create Infrastructure South Australia, and that this body would be tasked with developing a 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy," Kilgariff says.

"ALC supports the development of improved mechanisms to ensure funding is prioritised for infrastructure projects that will deliver maximum productivity benefits, rather than funds going to projects that are prioritised for political, sectional or geographic reasons. Independent bodies such as Infrastructure South Australia can help to deliver this aim."

The decisions were also welcomed by the South Australian Freight Council (SAFC).

"The Ministerial appointments made by Premier Marshall today means the transport and logistics industry is well represented in Cabinet," executive officer Evan Knapp says.

"SAFC looks forward to working with incoming Minister Stephen Knoll on transport, logistics and associated planning issues.

"We see great value in bringing the planning ministry and the transport and infrastructure ministry back under the control of a single minister – enhancing the probability of effective and integrated transport and urban planning outcomes.

"It is a sensible move as we hope the combination of these ministries will lead to the protection of key freight corridors and facilities through the planning system – avoiding the conflicts experienced in the eastern states where poor planning has allowed high density housing adjacent to 24/7 operating freight facilities.

"With an electorate based in the Barossa – an inner regional and prime freight generating area – Minister Knoll is perfectly placed to understand the transport needs of both urban and regional communities.

"We look forward to working with Minister Knoll on key Liberal election commitments, in particular the establishment of Infrastructure SA, the development of a 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy and the completion of the North South Corridor."

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) also welcomes Knoll’s appointment. 

NHVR chair Bruce Baird says he looks forward to working with Mr Knoll and the in-coming South Australian government to deliver on-going services to the state’s heavy vehicle industry.

"The in-coming Marshall government has made announcements in relation to the movement of freight and I look forward to working with them to boost productivity for the local heavy vehicle industry," Baird says.

"The NHVR has a close working relationship with South Australian transport and police agencies and we will continue to develop those relationships in the years ahead.

"I congratulate Stephan on behalf of the NHVR staff and board, and look forward to working with him to deliver an on-going agenda to reform heavy vehicle safety and productivity."



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