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Offline Fares_Fair

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Article: Mayors to have say on Bruce Hwy
« on: May 22, 2012, 02:29:35 PM »
Article: Mayors to have say on Bruce Hwy
The Gympie Times
by Ava Benny-Morrison
22nd May 2012 11:57 AM


THE Gympie and Rockhampton mayors have been recruited to the group responsible for fixing the troublesome Bruce Highway.

Last month, the State Government established the Bruce Highway Crisis Management Group to prioritise the highway's upgrade projects.

A report will be delivered to Minister for Roads Scott Emerson in six months.

The group is comprised of local MPs, the head of the RACQ and Queensland Police traffic branch and the Queensland Trucking Association.

Following the local government elections, Gympie mayor Ron Dyne and Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow also have been added to the team.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Development Jeff Seeney said the mayors brought local expertise to the group.

"(The mayors) brought local knowledge to the group, which was committed to making safety and flood immunity the priorities for the LNP Government's 10-year Crisis Action Plan for the Bruce Highway," he said.

Gympie MP David Gibson said he was glad Mr Dyne was on the committee to provide Gympie another voice to get the highway fixed.


Offline Golliwog

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Re: Article: Mayors to have say on Bruce Hwy
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 03:59:28 PM »
So they have the highway crisis management group consisting of councillors and people who want to see more vehicles on the highway (RACQ and the Trucking Association). No say from any rail group that could advise of the safety benefits of shifting long distance freight onto rail, and the savings this could help make by reducing maintenance costs.

I agree that the highway does need fixing, just not as much as I'm sure the RACQ and truckers are going to say it needs. Local Mayors are also hardly likely to come out saying things like "no, don't upgrade our highway, spend it fixing up the north coast rail line."
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Offline Fares_Fair

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Re: Article: Mayors to have say on Bruce Hwy
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 04:10:49 PM »
Agree, QR's 2006 submission to the Productivity Commission said that for an outlay of $300 million ($2006), there were savings to be had of $430 million ($2006).
That's $347 million in $2011, for savings of $497 million in $2011.

Figures extrapolated using Reserve Bank of Australia's Inflation Calculator.

Average annual inflation rate of 2.9% over 5 years.
That's a change of 15.6% over 5 years.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 04:16:29 PM by Fares_Fair »

Offline ozbob

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Re: Article: Mayors to have say on Bruce Hwy
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2012, 03:00:41 AM »

Media release 24 May 2012

Queensland: Call for rail representation on Bruce Highway 'fix-it' team

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org), a web-based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport passengers, wants the membership of the state government's Bruce Highway Crisis Management Group widened to include representation from the rail sector (1).
Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"RAIL Back On Track welcomes the state government's decision to form a Bruce Highway Management Group to report within six months on works to improve safety and alleviate flood problems and traffic congestion along this important transport corridor.  However, we believe its membership and objective is too narrow and excludes the proper examination of rail-based solutions for moving freight along Queensland's eastern seaboard.

"The government has failed to realise that an investment in rail is an investment in road and that the cheaper, more effective, solution often is to improve rail's efficiency through realignment and longer passing loops (points where trains pass each other) rather than building costly road bypasses around towns.  The two must be weighed up against each other, but the way this committee has been set up does not allow such comparisons.  The government has said we want road solutions only.

"Through its support for duplication of the railway track between Beerburrum and Nambour, even the RACQ acknowledges that an investment in rail improves road travelling conditions.  One 1500-metre train can take 100 semi-trailers off our roads.  During last year's floods, trains were able to get through largely on a flood-free alignment, but rail's capacity constraints were very evident.  At several points along the NCL, they are severe.  Without investment from the federal and state governments, rail can't present as the viable and cost-effective alternative.

"The amount of rail freight carried on the North Coast Line (NCL) is set to more than double over 20 years.  Provided capacity is improved, the freight carrying capacity of the NCL will expand from an estimated 4.5 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) in 2013 to 5.5 mtpa in 2020.  Failure to plan for longer freight trains travelling at faster speeds along the NCL will mean more trucks will have to take up the slack.  Safety will be compromised even further, despite the improvements to the Bruce Highway.

"On a per net tonne-kilometre (ntk) basis, moving freight by rail is between 13 and 23 times safer than shifting it by road, according to the Australasian Railways Association (2).  And there are some cargoes, such as chemicals and explosives associated with Queensland burgeoning mining and agricultural sectors, that should not be moved by road.  What community wants those things trucked past their houses and schools, no matter how improved the highway might be?

"All we are saying is that there is a balance to be struck between investment in road and rail, but the current membership and charter of the Bruce Highway Crisis Management Group doesn't achieve that balance.  From the outset, it's biased only to road-based solutions, which are not always appropriate.

"Since the former Queensland Government hived off rail freight to a privatised QR National, our government has lost focus on steel wheels on track as a viable, and valuable, means of solving the state's freight transport needs.

"Restore the balance is what we are saying, be prepared to invest in rail-based solutions where they are proven to be more advantageous than road, and test the theory by putting one or two rail experts on the Bruce Highway Crisis Management Group."

1. http://statements.cabinet.qld.gov.au/MMS/StatementDisplaySingle.aspx?id=79009

2. Australasian Railway Association http://www.ara.net.au/site/index.php


Robert Dow
RAIL Back On Track http://backontrack.org
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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