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July Newsletter

Princes Highway Road Duplication Approved for Development

13th July 2020  Major Roads Projects Victoria has announced “the final two sections of the Princes Highway East duplication at Flynn and Kilmany have been given the green light.

The project is the third stage of the Princes Highway East duplication project between Traralgon and Sale.

The remaining two sections at Flynn and Kilmany will add an extra 12km of lanes in each direction, delivering a total of 43km of duplicated highway across the entire project.

The new lanes will bring immediate safety improvements to around 15,000 motorists who use this stretch of road every day and improve journey times between Traralgon and Sale.

A range of safety improvements will be delivered including, wider shoulders and centre median with flexible safety barriers to improve safety and reduce the risk of and severity of run-off road and head-on crashes.

With pre-construction activities already complete, procurement for the joint Victorian and Australian $513 million road project will be underway by the end of the year, improving freight efficiency in the region and supporting economic recovery efforts now and into the future”.

The road duplication of the South Eastern Princes Highway is a key priority for SEATS and more action is required on the duplication between of the highway Bairnsdale and Sale given the road safety issues being experienced, which in some cases have been tragic.

NSW Road Re-Classification & Transfer

July 13th 2020. Transport for NSW are urging Councils “to have their say on the biggest review of the State’s road network in more than a decade.   Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the NSW Road Classification Review and Transfer project, led by an independent expert panel, was about laying the foundations for a safe and modern road network for generations to come.

“It’s about assessing whether the current road classification framework is still fit for purpose as well as identifying up to 15,000 kilometres of council-managed roads in rural and regional areas to hand back to the state, easing the burden on local ratepayers,” Mr Toole said.

“The Terms of Reference and Information Paper for the project have now been established and the Independent Panel is ready to consult with councils, industry and communities.

“Identifying which roads should be transferred to the State is a complex process and we’re determined to get it right. This review will ensure we have a safe and effective road network for years to come.”

Chair of the Independent Panel Wendy Machin said the Information Paper had been prepared to set out the division between Local, Regional and State Roads.

“This paper looks at how our road network is managed, maintained, funded and categorised,” Ms Machin said.

“To allow us to make informed and meaningful recommendations, we’ll be entering into a conversation with our biggest road managers – local councils – and other stakeholders and road users to find out how we can best manage our roads into the future.

“The scale of this project is significant. It combines a comprehensive review of road classifications around NSW as well as seeking submissions on priority roads for transfer to the state government.

“We’ll be talking to individual councils and also asking councils to work together through their Joint Organisations to put forward a case that considers the impact on the broader network.”

The Panel is expected to deliver an interim report and recommendation of priority road transfers by the end of 2020.

The Panel’s final report is estimated to be delivered to Government in 2021, subject to further consultation and stakeholder engagement”.

Deadline for submission is August 31st, 2020

COVID 19 Should Not Prevent the Free Flow of Regional Transport Logistics

July 9th, 2020. Recent announcements by the Victorian and New South Wales State governments concerning border closures due to the COVID 19 pandemic is placing an economic stranglehold on businesses and families in the South East region.  SEATS Chair Cr. Marianne Pelz comments “there is much border trade that exists between New South Wales and Victoria and this is being overlooked due to metropolitan pandemic issues.  SEATS seek the free flow of freight logistics through the border crossing areas”.

The following recommendations are provided for urgent consideration:
•    Ensure that trucks will still be allowed to cross the NSW / VIC state borders and that border control checking should not exceed a targeted 15 minutes per vehicle queue time.  SEATS are concerned about Driver Fatigue Management and road safety and the delays border checking will have on driving hours
•    Publish any measures in place at border crossings to check trucks and truck drivers crossing, whether this includes temperature checks on drivers, etc
•    Guarantee freight and logistics companies are allowed into NSW if these companies have supporting evidence but have not been able to get a permit
•    For freight and logistics truck drivers arriving in NSW from Victoria they should not be subject to self-isolation / quarantine for 14 days.

Regional trade flows should not be penalised by restrictive inter-state border controls given that the pandemic challenge is centred on metropolitan areas.  Regional economies rely upon sustainable inter-state supply chains and SEATS is seeking government acknowledgment of these recommendations.


Princes Highway New South Wales Border with Victoria

SEATS AGM and Quarterly Meeting to be held via video conference

July 15th 2020. The SEATS Annual Meeting is to be held this year on August 13th at 1pm.  The SEATS Executive Committee have determined that the Annual General Meeting, to be hosted by Sale will be held via video conference given the restrictions of COVID 19.  Details on the video conferencing links will be provided shortly.

The Annual General Meeting Agenda is available via the SEATS website https://seats.org.au/documents.  Part of the AGM will be the election of the SEATS Executive Committee and SEATS Members are encouraged to visit https://seats.org.au/documents and download the “SEATS Nomination Form” and the “SEATS Voting Form” and get involved in the election process.

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