First long-term infrastructure strategy released in SA

Infrastructure SA has released the first long-term infrastructure strategy for South Australia, and targets freight movements as an area for improvement.

The 20-Year State Infrastructure Strategy covers all aspects of infrastructure, from education and health, to energy and digital connectivity, however, makes a number of recommendations for the state’s transport network.

SA’s freight network is particularly addressed as an area that needs improvement. The report notes that there are limited options when it comes to bulk minerals, and that roads supporting industry in the regions are in poor condition.

Although road is expected to continue to carry the majority of freight, investment in rail spurs is one area where the efficiencies of rail can be realised. In addition, with forecast growth near Adelaide Airport and congestion at ports, more efficient rail connections should be focused on, highlighted Australian Logistics Council CEO, Kirk Coningham.

“ALC welcomes the Strategy’s recognition of the need for improved landside road and rail connections for freight at SA’s ports and airports to address congestion. We continue to encourage the SA Government to pursue the standardisation of SA’s freight rail gauges to enhance network efficiency.”

For passenger transport, buses are expected to remain the dominant public transport mode, however trunk corridors for future growth are where further investment should occur, write Infrastructure SA.

While the Infrastructure Strategy did not identify key projects, Infrastructure SA also released the Capital Intentions Statement, which identifies works such as level crossing removals as needing investment.

In addition to individual projects, the Infrastructure Strategy recommends an integrated planning approach, which Coningham welcomed.

“ALC strongly endorses the Strategy’s call to break down silos in the planning system by moving toward a more integrated approach. As part of this, we call on the SA government to adopt ‘freight and logistics lands’ as a distinct land use category within South Australian planning instruments.”