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SA Freight Council urges priority for roads backlog

<p>The South Australian Freight Council has urged the State Government to provide funding in the State Budget next month to &#8220kick start&#8221 an estimated $160m backlog in the state road maintenance program.</p> <p>The state’s peak freight transport advisory group called on the huge backlog in road maintenance work being addressed in its blueprint to improve SA’s transport network. </p> <p>The council’s report, <em>South Australia’s Freight Transport Infrastructure &#8211 Principles and Project Priorities</em> was issued this morning (Thursday, April 28).</p> <p>The report identifies the state’s present and future freight transport infrastructure needs.</p> <p>The &#8220high priority&#8221 initiatives needed across all modes include:</p> <p>&#8226 The deepening of channels and berths at Outer Harbour ($169m)</p> <p>&#8226 Construction of the Port River Expressway ($220m)</p> <p>&#8226 Addressing a &#8220desperate&#8221 backlog of infrastructure maintenance ($160m)</p> <p>&#8226 Extending the Sturt Highway to benefit the near north and beyond ($300m)</p> <p>&#8226 Development of a north-south corridor through Adelaide</p> <p>&#8226 Construction of passing lanes on the Riddoch Highway in the state’s southeast ($10m) and</p> <p>&#8226 Upgrading sections of the Eyre Peninsula Grain Transport System through rail and road improvements ($40m).</p> <p>The freight council’s general manager Neil Murphy said SA’s freight system is not just a matter of moving things from one point to another, it also impacts on everyone’s quality of life through issues like greenhouse gas emissions, road safety, and traffic noise.</p> <p> &#8220We know that Australia’s demand for freight is going to double by 2020, bringing with it a forecast 40% increase in congestion," he said. </p> <p>&#8220We can’t afford to wait until we’re boxed in by our own structural inefficiency before we realise that we need a better transport system if this state is going to prosper."</p> <p>Mr Murphy said the council will use the report to monitor infrastructure development, the progress of recently announced initiatives, as well as for assessing new proposals.</p> <p>"The state needs to have a longer planning horizon put in place to ensure our future transport infrastructure requirements are achieved,&#8221 he said.</p> <br />