Shoalhaven CC who Cr White represents has been a valued member of SEATS since the 1990s and a major contributor to its programs and advocacy work.
Councillor White recognises that there are many priorities for the group across road, rail, sea and air infrastructural needs. The release of a new Strategic Transport Network document for South Eastern Australia demonstrates the tasks identified and the way ahead for SEATS.
Within NSW the continual improvement of the Princes Highway is critical. A lot has been achieved, much is in construction but there are more projects that need Government commitment to delivery. These projects include Albion Park Rail bypass, Berry to Bomaderry, the lengthening of rail passing loops on the South Coast line and the Moss vale to Unanderra line, safety improvements to the Kings Highway and completion of the works to improve the flow of freight through Canberra/Queanbeyan. While in Victoria, there exists congestion around the conflict of rural freight and metropolitan commuter corridors, the need for better management of traffic for major events on Phillip Island as well as the opportunities for passing heavy vehicles on the Monaro and Princes Highways between Cann River and the NSW border. What is happening around Canberra Airport with the opening up to international flights in September is exciting and an opportunity for regional producers and processes across the SEATS region to capitalise on this. This will add a new dimension to some of the logistical needs for freight transport within the region.
In the mix of funding sources, SEATS is pleased to see that both the State and Federal Governments have freight productivity clearly on their agenda. Programmes such as the Heavy Vehicle Safety Productivity Program and the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Roads and Fixing Country Rail programmes are assisting Councils and industry to address transport issues for freight and regional economic development.
As Chair of SEATS she is seeking to identify what the State Governments have included in their submissions to Infrastructure Australia so that SEATS can provide support and advocacy towards these identified needs.