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May Newsletter from SEATS

These are busy and complex days we face as our region endures a fast changing and very dynamic environment, managing the bushfire economic rebuild and now the Covid-19 pandemic. SEATS visited most of the SEATS Shires in March and it is clear that the hard working people of local government care and make a real difference.

Securing freight access for Australia agricultural and fisheries exporters

April 1st 2020. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has announced a $110M initiative to help secure capacity on international air freight routes for our seafood, meat and horticultural industries.  Worldwide air freight capacity has collapsed with commercial airlines no longer flying and securing capacity where backlogs exist will prove difficult in the months ahead.  This initiative just announced will enable the industry to keep its export markets.  Supply chain disruption will continue to manifest problems among many industries in the foreseeable future and our quick and precise responsiveness to this dynamic event is key.

Hon. Michael McCormack MP Press Releases

Minister’s message underpins the need for Gippsland Rail

April 27th 2020. Victorian Minister for Resources Hon. Jaclyn Symes MLC acknowledged the importance of the quarry and stone industry to the economic well-being of the state.  With an average of eight tonnes of stone, gravel and sand per Victorian required every year to deliver the Government’s infrastructure plan, Victoria’s quarry industry will be crucial as we get to the other side of this crisis.  For context this equates to more than 3000 truck movements each and every day in Victoria and SEATS members have raised concerns about safety on our roads and congestion on the Monash Highway.  The Gippsland Intermodal Rail Precinct is part of a larger developing rail initiative to help alleviate these issues and ensure a sustainable supply chain for mineral sands and gravel

Hon. Jaclyn Symes MLC Press Release


A lot of discussion on Eden to Canberra Rail

April 2020. Deputy Premier of New South Wales Hon John Barilaro MP has supported the feasibility study on the development of the Eden to Canberra rail link.  SEATS understands this feasibility study has now been completed.  This rail link is considered vital to the development of the Port of Eden as a future container terminal operator, and will greatly enhance industry supply chain options for manufactured, agricultural and meat exports and the import of bulk products and containers.  This initiative also sits well with the intent to expand the future capability of Canberra as an export air freight hub option.

SEATS members Eurobodalla, Bega Valley, Snowy Monaro and Queanbeyan – Palerang see the economic benefit of this strategic development and would encourage a positive and strong industry and community engagement to push for next steps.

Hon. John Barilaro MP Press Release



Princes Highway gets funding boost

March 17th 2020. Deputy Prime Minister Hon Michael McCormack MP has announced upgrade plans for the Milton-Ulladulla bypass, Moruya bypass and the Jervis Bay Road intersection upgrade. Additionally, Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says $4 million in funding for rest area upgrades will add to the overtaking lanes and other safety improvements already underway on the Princes Highway.  Lakes Entrance will benefit from a multi-million dollar Federal Government investment in projects to improve the Princes Highway including the first stage of works on Bullock Island.  The Federal Government will help to fund more than $20 million of Princes Highway safety and infrastructure upgrades as part of a package of works stretching from Bairnsdale to Genoa.  The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government will provide more than $32 million for Princes Highway safety and infrastructure upgrades as part of a package of works stretching from Sale to Genoa.

Hon. Darren Chester MP Press Releases

Hon. Michael McCormack MP Press Releases

Update from Infrastructure Australia

April 2020. Delivering the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan

“In August last year, Infrastructure Australia delivered the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit, a collaborative document that maps out the major challenges and opportunities facing Australia’s infrastructure over the next 15 years. Following a significant consultation period, our attention now turns to delivering the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan.

The Australian Infrastructure Plan is intended to guide the next wave of infrastructure reform and it will build on the opportunities and challenges identified in the 2019 Audit. We look forward to working collaboratively with your organisations to map out the path of reform”.

Romilly Madew Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Australia Press Release


SEATS Priority Projects finalized

After an extensive collaborative process, SEATS members have prioritized 14 projects across 17 local governments in the South East.  The projects cover:

  • Nowra Bridge
  • Berry to Bomaderry Rail Line Track Upgrade
  • Beyond Nerriga MR92
  • Rail Duplication along Princes Highway Corridor
  • Milton Ulladulla Bypass
  • Phillip Island Road Corridor Upgrades
  • Sale Alternate Truck Route
  • Duplication of Princes Hwy – Sale to Bairnsdale
  • Kings Highway Improvements
  • Nowra Bomaderry Transport Strategy
  • Princes Highway intersections to Coastal Communities
  • Morwell East Industrial Precinct
  • Bass Highway – Anderson to Leongatha
  • Realignment of sections of Monaro Hwy from Cann River to the Border


The SEATS executive will continue to work with SEATS members to refine and update projects as well as seek out new transport strategies to benefit industry.  Examples are supporting Gippsland Rail, the continuing development of the Princes Highway to become an established freight corridor and to support the Eden to Canberra transport link.

SEATS Meetings

The May SEATS Quarterly meeting has been canceled however the SEATS Executive Committee meeting will still proceed via video conference.  Sale Victoria will be hosting the SEATS AGM and Quarterly meeting on August 13th and 14th while Bega Valley NSW will host the SEATS Quarterly meeting on November 12th and 13th.

SEATS Delegates attending the Quarterly Meeting on the Bass Coast

In passing …

We are to celebrate the lives of previous SEATS Chair Jeanette Harding, previous SEATS Executive Officer Chris Vardon and his wife Judy and finally Jill Hall wife of Wellington Shire Mayor Cr. Alan Hall.  Their recent passing is felt with love and affection by many in the SEATS membership.  Cherished memories.

Fish Creek South Gippsland
SEATS welcome any content or news stories suggestions from SEATS membership, contact Andrew Martin – SEATS Executive Officer



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