About the South East AustralianTransport Strategy (SEATS)
The South East Australian Region embraces south-east NSW, eastern Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory and is bounded by the Hume Highway corridor between Sydney and Melbourne and the coastal strip between Wollongong and Westernport Bay.
It is a large Region of over one and a half million people and one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. It is rich in primary resources, has a skilled workforce, wonderful natural assets and has huge potential which opportunities for improvements to transport infrastructure would provide.
Inadequate transport infrastructure has been identified as a major impediment to the growth and prosperity of this important Region. In response the SEATS partnership has developed the Transport Network Strategy which collectively identifies a number of Priority Projects that go beyond the boundaries of individual local councils and benefit the entire region and beyond. The attraction of investment in these transport and infrastructure projects through strong advocacy will significantly improve the efficiency of the transport network across the region, support sustainable growth, boost the economic competiveness, improve employment prospects and enhance communities through improved, safer access to vital health, education, sport and recreational, government agencies and business services.
This is the simple vision of SEATS, an effective integrated transport network that stimulates economic growth that is sustainable and sensitive to the environment and enhances communities. To support this vision SEATS has developed a number of principles to guide its work and has encouraged all levels of Government to consider them when planning for the future.
- These include:
- ◆ Promote economic and employment opportunities through a regionally based approach to transport needs.
- ◆ Integrate freight network plans and land use planning.
- ◆ Maintain and improve existing and future business productivity, efficiency and viability.
- ◆ Strategic planning is network based.
- ◆ The transport strategy integrates all transport modes and intermodal facilities.
- ◆ Strategic priorities are based on area wide needs and economic outcomes.
- ◆ Freight network planning recognises the importance of the environment and climate change impacts.
- ◆ Planning for freight infrastructure needs to be on a short, medium and long term basis.
- ◆ Longer term plans need to ensure that suitable transport corridors are set aside and maintained.
- ◆ Network strategic planning recognises local, State. Federal and Industry policies and strategies.
- ◆ Network strategic planning recognises cross border issues and reflects influences from outside the SEATS region that impact on the region.
- ◆ That tourism is considered in the freight planning in order to provide greater safety for all users.
- ◆ Projects and priorities are supported and promoted by SEATS members.
Membership of SEATS currently includes:
East Gippsland Shire Council, Latrobe City Council, Shellharbour City Council, Shoalhaven City Council, Wellington Shire, Wollondilly Shire Council, Baw Baw Shire Council, Bega Valley Shire Council, Eurobodalla Shire Council, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, South Gippsland Shire Council, Bass Coast Shire Council, Goulburn Mulwaree Shire Council, Snowy Valleys Council, Upper Lachlan Shire Council, Roads and Maritime Services(RMS), VicRoads, Bega Cheese, ,GHD, Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Ltd, NRMA, Forests NSW, Canberra Airport, NSW Ports, Port of Melbourne Corporation, RDA Far South East, RDA Southern Inland, Softwoods Working Group, Southern Group of Councils, RDA Gippsland, Kastan Consulting, VicTrack, Kenn Beer- Safe System Solutions, Bransgrove Transport.
Solid planning and advocacy has helped deliver several vital projects across the region over the past 23 years, has supported and promoted the growth of industry and engaged with many communities to address the issues that are creating barriers to their growth and prosperity.
The SEATS Regional Strategic Transport Network document has been developed to achieve the following for the Region:
- ◆ Economic Competiveness by improving access to jobs, ports and key locations of economic activity
- ◆ Environmental Protection by providing sustainable transport systems and networks aimed at meeting existing and future needs
whilst minimising the impact on the environment.
- ◆ Enhanced Livability by improving people’s access to places of work, education, recreation and public health services.
- ◆ Governance by ensuring that decisions on regional infrastructure investments on transport are well informed, with improved integration of transport planning, evaluation
- ◆ Improved safety outcomes for all users delivered across the Region through improved infrastructure networks.
SEATS membership has confidence in advocating issues of local and regional interest to Government. The basis of this strong advocacy is the development of a list of Priority Projects through its Strategic Transport Network document. It is a “living” document where new projects are added by SEATS members and supported by the work of RMS and VicRoads. All elected Government representatives and agencies across the Region have received a copy of this document. It covers National, State and Local transport needs and will be the basis of continued discussions with the decision makers, providing the strongest support for vital projects in a truly Regional approach.
SEATS meets four times a year, with two meetings held in Victoria and two in NSW/ACT. Meetings which are hosted by Councils and other SEATS members are well attended over two days and comprise a Business session with a number of presentations from invited guests on matters of interest and information on SEATS projects, industry developments and government policies and strategies. Reports are received each meeting from VicRoads, RMS and Transport Victoria and the SEATS members provide a report on the progress of priority projects in their areas. Delegates have the opportunity to raise issues and discuss how SEATS may support them.
SEATS Executive Officer