RDA Committees plan for the future of Queensland roads

qld roads rda1RDA Townsville and North West Queensland (RDA TNWQ) are playing a lead role in facilitating the development of the Inland Queensland Roads Action Plan (IQ-RAP).

IQ-RAP is the first of its type in Australia, which has been developed through a collaboration of 47 funding partners, including several RDA committees.

RDA TNWQ first considered the concept of such a plan, after the success of the Bruce Highway Action Plan in securing funding commitments from the Australian and Queensland governments.

In December 2013, RDA TNWQ engaged with other RDAs in central, north and south west Queensland and held a forum in Longreach, where the Interim Working Group was formed and RDA TNWQ took on the role of Secretariat.

The other RDA committees involved are Far North Queensland and Torres Strait, Darling Downs South West, Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday and Fitzroy and Central West.

IQ-RAP Secretariat and RDA TNWQ Chief Executive Officer Glenys Schuntner said there was an opportunity for achieving regional economic development outcomes through greater investment on inland roads through greater cross-regional collaboration.

“Common goals to create jobs, develop and sustain our regional communities, improve productivity for all industries and businesses and safety for all using the inland Queensland road network, have resulted in a strategic alliance of RDA committees, 33 councils, eight Regional Roads and Transport Groups and RACQ,” Ms Schuntner said.

IQ-RAP Working Group Chair Cr Peter Maguire said the plan identifies the road network and prioritises upgrades over the next 18 years. Click here to read more.

 

Max Eastcott General Manager of Gwydir Shire Council to present on funding local roads

 

Max Eastcott

Max Eastcott

Max Eastcott General Manager of Gwydir Shire Council  will present at the Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.

Presentation Title:   An Innovative approach to local road funding

Presentation Overview:  The Australian Rural Roads Group Inc. (ARRG) signed an agreement on Australia Day 2014 with Infrastructure Australia, which is known as the Bingara Accord.

 

The Accord stated that:

The parties agree:

  1. to seek to bring roads into line with the mainstream practices of Australia’s infrastructure sectors;
  2. to employ user pays-user says trials for road improvements to test this approach;
  3. that the Australian Rural Roads Group asset and investment template is appropriate for local roads throughout regional Australia;
  4. that submissions should be made to include suitably aggregated proposals in Infrastructure Australia’s national infrastructure audit and infrastructure priorities list.

As a result of this Accord five North West NSW Councils known as the North-West Network (Gwydir, Moree Plains, Gunnedah, Warrumbungle and Narrabri Shire Councils) commissioned a report to submit to Infrastructure Australia that detailed how additional Federal Government funding for rural local roads could be justified as economically responsible based upon productivity improvement outcomes.

The North-West Network is a road investment and sustainability program designed for a 57,000 square kilometre agricultural powerhouse region of north-western New South Wales. It has two main features:

  • Road productivity and
  • Roads sustainability

The network – over 12,000 kilometres of roads – has little opportunity to secure major new capital funds from governments in the prevailing fiscal climate. Yet at the same time, the public sector roads ‘system’ does not offer significant avenues for productivity-based funding allocations. This program has been designed to be submitted to Infrastructure Australia and in turn to the New South Wales government and Infrastructure NSW for formal recognition as a ‘national infrastructure priority list’ project, based on:

  • National agricultural productivity;
  • Links to the proposed Inland Rail;
  • Innovative market investment approach to financing roads;
  • Economic Merit; and.
  • It is Deliverable.

The presentation will outline the process followed and the methodology adopted and why it should be used as a template for an improved road funding model.

National Road Asset Reporting PilotFor more information on the National Road Asset Reporting Pilot or to view/download the Bingara Accord please click here.

Roads to Recovery – infrastructure investment in Victoria

Roads to Recovery Programme Funding Allocations 2009-2014, the objective of Roads to Recovery is to contribute to the Infrastructure Investment Programme through supporting maintenance of the nation’s local road infrastructure asset, which facilitates greater access for Australians and improved safety, economic and social outcomes.

From 2009-10 to 2013-14 the Government will provide $1.75 billion ($373.5 million in 2013-14) under the Roads to Recovery programme, to be distributed to Australia’s local councils, state and territory Governments responsible for local roads in the

regional roads

regional roads

unincorporated areas (where there are no councils) and the Indian Ocean Territories.

We are interested in hearing from you on what is needed to improve roads in Victoria at the Australian Regional Development Conference will be held on the 15-16 October in Albury 2014. www.regionaldevelopment.org.au

The following table lists the Roads to Recovery funding allocations for Victorian councils.

Victorian Councils Roads to Recovery Life of Program Allocation 2009-10 to 2013-14 Roads to Recovery Allocation for 2013-14
Alpine Shire
2,806,434
561,866
Ararat Rural City Council
5,394,564
1,078,915
Ballarat City Council
4,848,382
969,678
Banyule City Council
2,291,547
476,660
Bass Coast Shire Council
3,412,707
667,625
Baw Baw Shire Council
6,593,082
889,792
Bayside City Council
1,237,359
247,472
Benalla Rural City Council
3,392,658
734,751
City of Boroondara
2,129,377
408,630
Brimbank City Council
3,849,197
769,844
Buloke Shire Council
5,220,320
300,167
Campaspe Shire Council
10,076,750
2,015,350
Cardinia Shire Council
5,952,966
1,275,663
Casey City Council
4,956,675
Central Goldfields Shire Council
2,553,401
647,863
Colac Otway Shire
6,222,210
1,302,826
Corangamite Shire Council
8,121,845
1,624,369
City of Darebin
2,272,507
516,226
East Gippsland Shire Council
11,722,565
2,942,590
Frankston City Council
2,957,152
659,272
Gannawarra Shire Council
4,591,545
663,121
City of Glen Eira
1,439,887
173,456
Glenelg Shire Council
7,980,586
1,619,814
Golden Plains Shire Council
4,944,169
988,836
Greater Bendigo City Council
7,605,505
1,337,264
City of Greater Dandenong
3,256,622
651,325
City of Greater Geelong
7,748,808
1,349,763
Greater Shepparton City Council
7,265,072
1,322,781
Hepburn Shire Council
3,456,838
686,821
Hindmarsh Shire Council
4,006,318
855,430
Hobsons Bay City Council
1,705,075
341,060
Horsham Rural City Council
5,015,989
1,003,196
Hume City Council
4,471,656
1,106,943
Indigo Shire Council
4,123,505
880,550
Kingston City Council
2,849,211
569,843
City of Knox
2,668,841
533,769
Latrobe City Council
5,873,957
1,689,166
Loddon Shire Council
8,114,643
2,182,229
Macedon Ranges Shire Council
5,010,339
1,365,082
Manningham City Council
2,011,155
402,231
Mansfield Shire Council
2,371,535
497,921
City of Maribyrnong
1,161,475
232,295
Maroondah City Council
1,906,422
381,286
Melbourne City Council
 1,737,249
347,399
Shire of Melton
3,009,808
203,925
Mildura Rural City Council
8,847,703
1,865,712
Mitchell Shire Council
4,425,280
1,242,774
Moira Shire Council
8,311,758
1,634,953
Monash City Council
2,766,600
553,320
Moonee Valley City Council
 1,626,450
426,160
Moorabool Shire Council
4,540,216
908,043
Moreland City Council
2,185,740
437,148
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
5,966,567
1,004,416
Mount Alexander Shire Council
 3,511,607
984,174
Shire of Moyne
9,818,154
1,964,440
Shire of Murrindindi
 4,167,501
716,644
Nillumbik Shire Council
2,918,161
567,160
Northern Grampians Shire Council
6,273,172
1,269,112
City of Port Phillip
983,769
172,601
Pyrenees Shire Council
5,195,293
1,343,014
Borough of Queenscliffe
144,560
46,088
South Gippsland Shire Council
 8,181,531
1,636,307
Southern Grampians Shire Council
7,457,843
1,025,889
Stonnington City Council
 994,547
49,939
Shire of Strathbogie
 4,915,912
974,668
Surf Coast Shire
3,237,509
647,502
Swan Hill Rural City Council
4,821,672
1,178,905
Shire of Towong
 3,592,522
718,506
Wangaratta Rural City Council
5,393,729
1,093,086
Warrnambool City Council
 1,625,861
317,924
Wellington Shire Council
 11,457,191
2,983,359
West Wimmera Shire Council
 5,968,329
1,501,704
Whitehorse City Council
2,095,489
419,097
City of Whittlesea
 3,465,924
824,903
Wodonga City Council
2,137,467
463,328
Wyndham City Council
3,569,294
 527,717
Yarra City Council
 1,017,121
202,121
Shire of Yarra Ranges
 9,230,532
1,846,108
Yarriambiack Shire Council
4,817,088
1,285,407
Vic Total
356,000,000
72,307,294

Reducing the rural road toll is a matter of time

Rural road toll

By Max Cameron, Monash University

More than half of the road fatalities in Australia occur on rural roads, and the greatest investment we can make to mitigate this is reducing speed limits on many of these roads. Indeed, fatal crashes and the cost of all road trauma on rural roads could be reduced by about 34% if speed limits reflected the type of road the vehicle was travelling on.

I recently completed an analysis that worked out the economically optimal speed for each road and vehicle type, that is, the speed that minimises the total costs of road trauma, travel time, air pollution emissions, and vehicle operations (principally fuel costs).

Reimagining cost

A key factor in my research was valuing road trauma at a much higher cost ($8.03 million per fatal crash) than has been previously used in Australia. The values I used reflect what society is “willing to pay” to prevent serious road trauma.

This approach is used in many developed nations such as United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, but not yet officially in Australia. It’s based on surveys that measure people’s preferences for reducing the risk to their lives versus benefits forgone (such as money invested in safety equipment). Internationally, it is now considered to be the most valid approach to calculating the cost of road accidents.

Current speed limits on rural roads in Australia reflect the traditional way of calculating road trauma cost, which is known as the “human capital” approach. This values each fatal crash at about $3 million. It essentially involves estimating the value of the productive output of people involved in accidents over their remaining lifetime

Investing time

There are periodic public calls for more time and effort to be invested in developing countermeasures to the rural road toll. In fact, the single most effective investment we can make is spending more time on our journeys on undivided rural roads by travelling at lower speeds.

The next most effective action is for the government to invest substantial funding in upgrading rural roads to divided road or freeway standard. The improved safety standard of these upgraded roads would allow the current speed limits of at least 100 km/h to be restored.

Speed limits should reflect the nature of the road. Bentley Smith

But in a country the size of Australia, extensive upgrading of undivided roads would take many years and, in the interim, lower speed limits on these roads are essential to significantly reducing the road toll.

Changing pace

According to my analysis, the optimum speed on rural freeways is 110 km/h for light vehicles, but only 95 km/h for trucks. On the lower-standard rural divided roads, the optimum speeds are 95 km/h for light vehicles and 90 km/h for trucks.

On undivided rural roads (about 75% of kilometres driven in rural Australia), they are 90 km/h for both light and heavy vehicles. But this reduces to 85 km/h on curvy roads, where fuel cost and emissions increase because of frequent deceleration to negotiate sharp curves.

In general terms, current speed limits on rural freeways (110 km/h) and other divided roads (100 km/h) are close to optimal for light vehicles, but should be at least 10 km/h lower for trucks. On undivided rural roads, the general speed limit of 100 km/h should be reduced to 90 km/h and sections with many sharp curves should be speed zoned at no more than 80 km/h.

The fruits of slowing down

Reductions in speed limits would likely be resisted and need to be enforced effectively, but they would produce a substantial fall in the rural road toll. They would also have a positive impact on fuel costs and emission, with only a 13% increase in travel time.

It may seem unfair to people who live in rural areas to lower their speed limits. But my analysis took increased travel time into account and the costs associated with it are not infinite. And the gains of reduced road trauma and emissions will mitigate some of them. The problem is that the gains are not tangible – at least not until road trauma affects you or someone you know.

We don’t need to just look to the government to reduce the rural road toll. We can make a difference ourselves by investing more time in our journeys on rural roads, particularly on Australia’s mostly undivided roads and when driving heavy vehicles.

Max Cameron does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

This article was originally published at The Conversation.
Read the original article.

Rural Roads, Rail and Infrastructure to be discussed at the Australian Regional Development Conference as part of the conference focus

 Australian Regional Development Conference,
15-16 October Albury 2014 www.regionaldevelopment.org.au
Abstracts close: 28th April 2014
End of Early Bird 4th September 2014

Transport Hubs for Australia:

Transport Hubs for Australia, the intermodal issues for road, rail, ports and airports represents a challenge and opportunity for regional Australia. An intermodal logistics hub can be an economic asset for a regional community when they become a regional service centre.

Parkes has a long-standing plan to become a transport hub for all of Australia. It’s on the Newell Highway and the Sydney to Perth Rail line and it’s hoped an extension of the Melbourne to Brisbane rail line would mean freight companies could use Parkes as a distribution point to warehouse goods and then send them anywhere in the country.

 

Parkes, plans to be the transport hub for Australia

Parkes, plans to be the transport hub for Australia

70% of the Australian population can be
reached in one day from Parkes

Australian Regional Development  Conference, will be held in Albury NSW on the 15 – 16 October 2014 with a focus on the broad issues of economic, planning, environment and community development.

Call for papers – would you like to speak on transport and logistics hubs in regional Australia?

Authors or organisations interested in submitting a paper or presenting a workshop are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words outlining the aims, contents and conclusions of their paper or presentation; or about their intended role in a workshop.

Australian Regional Development Conference

RDA Conference15-16 October 2014, The Commercial Club Albury
Secretariat (T) 61 7 5502 2068 (F) 07 5527 3298
Email: secretariat@regionaldevelopment.org.au URL: www.regionaldevelopment.org.au