AI’s cor­ri­dor pro­tec­tion fears

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

In­fra­struc­ture Aus­tralia is­sues call to gov­ern­ments on fu­ture trans­port needs

IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE AUS­TRALIA (IA)

has is­sued a clar­ion call to Aus­tralian gov­ern­ments to fo­cus on fu­ture trans­port needs and re­serve cor­ri­dor land ac­cord­ingly. Rather than let fu­ture gen­er­a­tions be bur­dened with un­wanted and avoid­able ex­tra costs, IA’s re­port, Cor­ri­dor Pro­tec­tion: Plan­ning

and in­vest­ing for the long term, urges de­ci­sion mak­ers to plan prop­erly.

“Im­prov­ing long-term in­fra­struc­ture plan­ning is an im­por­tant means of low­er­ing the cost of new in­fra­struc­ture,” the re­port, which high­lights seven freight-sen­si­tive road and rail paths, all in east­ern Aus­tralia, states.

“Done well, cor­ri­dor pro­tec­tion re­duces the fu­ture fi nan­cial costs of de­liv­er­ing in­fra­struc­ture, while min­imis­ing the so­cial costs of ac­quir­ing homes and busi­nesses, and dis­rupt­ing ex­ist­ing com­mu­ni­ties.”

Strate­gic cor­ri­dors IA iden­ti­fies are: East Coast High Speed Rail, Outer Syd­ney Or­bital, Outer Mel­bourne Ring, West­ern Syd­ney Air­port Rail Line, West­ern Syd­ney Freight Line, Hunter Val­ley Freight Line, and Port of Bris­bane Freight Line. The re­port notes suc­cess­ful ex­am­ples from the sec­ond half of last cen­tury, such as the M4, M5 and parts of the M7 mo­tor­ways in Syd­ney, the M1 and EastLink mo­tor­ways in Mel­bourne, the Man­durah rail line and Kwinana Free­way in Perth, and the O-Bahn in Ade­laide.

In its fi nd­ings, the re­port ad­vises that the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment, in part­ner­ship with state and ter­ri­tory gov­ern­ments, “es­tab­lish ef­fec­tive cor­ri­dor pro­tec­tion mech­a­nisms to en­sure the timely preser­va­tion of sur­face, sub­ter­ranean and air cor­ri­dors, and strate­gic sites, for fu­ture in­fra­struc­ture pri­or­i­ties”.

The mech­a­nism should in­clude: • Long-term strate­gic plan­ning and project de­vel­op­ment work to iden­tify cor­ri­dors and lands • A sta­ble and in­de­pen­dent gov­er­nance

frame­work • Shared fi nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity be­tween the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment and its state and ter­ri­tory coun­ter­parts. While AI high­lights the pro­posed High Speed Rail project as be­ing in need of greater fo­cus, not to men­tion tun­nels, it ad­vo­cates fu­ture cor­ri­dor iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, not least in ru­ral ar­eas and for freight.

The Aus­tralian Lo­gis­tics Coun­cil (ALC) urged gov­ern­ments to take ad­van­tage of what it de­scribes as a “pow­er­ful en­dorse­ment of cor­ri­dor pro­tec­tion”.

“Mak­ing the right de­ci­sions to­day not only helps to re­duce the cost of in­fra­struc­ture projects in the fu­ture, but also avoids com­mu­nity confl ict and so­cial dis­lo­ca­tion by pro­vid­ing cer­tainty as to land use,” the ALC states.

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