The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has welcomed today’s release of the 2020 Infrastructure Australia Priority List, which calls for upgrades to urban and regional roads to boost safety and address congestion, and much needed improvements to rural, regional and remote freight routes.
The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.
“The 2020 Infrastructure Australia Priority List has illustrated the importance of evidence-based infrastructure investment decisions and called for road improvements that would have significant safety benefits,” ATA Transport and Infrastructure Adviser Sam Marks said today.
“In early 2019 the ATA called for the priority list to have a stronger focus on regional and remote roads, so we welcome the 2020 list and its new initiatives that would address a number of important regional routes,” he said.
The ATA welcomed Infrastructure Australia’s measures to address the road maintenance backlog, with a new initiative for a national road maintenance strategy.
“Early maintenance on roads can significantly reduce future costs, and deliver better roads,” Mr Marks said.
“This strategy would include a review of road conditions and prioritise the fixing of roads in poor condition using a structured, evidence-based process,” he said.
Mr Marks said the ATA also welcomed the inclusion of new priority projects that have had business cases assessed, and would deliver road capacity and improve freight connectivity.
“When combined with existing initiatives and projects, the priority list presents governments with a comprehensive and evidence-based infrastructure agenda,” Mr Marks said.
“The ATA encourages governments to prioritise these projects and the further development of business cases to ensure an evidence-based approach to infrastructure investment result in better roads on the ground,” he said.
Governments should prioritise projects from the priority list, including:
- National initiatives for investing in road maintenance, optimising the road network and reducing safety risks on regional roads
- Major upgrades to Queensland national, state and local roads, including the Bruce Highway, M1 Pacific Motorway, Peak Downs Highway and the inland road network
- Addressing important routes in Western Australia, including regional and rural roads, the Blindoon Bypass, the Great Northern Highway and the Wheatbelt secondary freight network
- Key New South Wales routes including the Great Western Highway, Princes Highway, M4 motorway, Sydney Gateway, Outer Sydney Orbital, Newell Highway and regional road network upgrades
- Building the North East Link and M80 ring road upgrade in Victoria
- Upgrading Eyre freight capacity, Adelaide’s North-South corridor and Sturt Highway access for high productivity freight vehicles in South Australia
- Upgrading the Tanami Road in the Northern Territory and its links to Western Australia
- Tasmania’s Burnie to Hobart corridor and the Derwent River crossing.