Now in its 14th year, the Queensland Transport Infrastructure Summit on the 26th & 27th July at the Brisbane Marriott Hotel, held dedicated days for discussion on the projects meeting Queensland’s urban transport needs and strategies for maximising the freight efficiency of this export state.
“Queensland is in a state of growth. 1000 people move to Queensland each week. The population is now 4.5million and expected to grow to 6.6million in 2030. The total number of vehicles in the state is growing faster than the population. Public transport patronage has risen 45% since 2004 – but overall, car trips continue to increase and trips are getting longer with the distance to work increasing by 3km in the last 3 years. Freight movements are expected to double in the next 15 years. Consumers are placing higher value on commute times and quality, paying for better seats and increased fees for express and on-time services. Transport planners in Queensland are faced with the challenge of getting people out of cars and giving more priority to the movement of freight and goods. And of course, in providing more efficient choices, options and sustainable alternatives with lower carbon.
The sheer scale of investment in QLD is massive. The QLD Government has just released its Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2010-11 to 2013-14 (QTRIP) for public review and consultation. Visit them here.
The program details $78bn of infrastructure on known or committed projects – of this 20billion alone has been labelled for spending on QLD roads and transport solutions – $4bn for flood and disaster recovery. The investment in QLD transport infrastructure adds huge value to QLD – the QTRIP alone adds 6% to the overall value of the QLD economy. The QTRIP calls out 5 major objectives for its investment:
1. Smarter use of existing infrastructure
2. Focus on whole of network
3. Manage impact of climate change and sustainability
4. Bold and large investments
5. Strengthening of partnerships
That last point is very important – the success of transport infrastructure development in Queensland will require a collaboration between Federal, State and Local Governments with the private sector to build a more integrated state-wide transport system that supports broad community and industry freight needs that is safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable for all modes of transport – for roadways, railways, busways, airports, airways and marine infrastructure. As Accenture lead for the infrastructure and transport practice, we look forward to that collaboration and helping stakeholders in the optimisation of the supply chain for freight and passenger transit and in the efficient allocation and return on capital expected from these asset intensive investment programs.”
Accenture’s Senior Executive, Auto, Industrial Equipment, Infrastructure & Transportation, Cameron Curtis provided a vivid scene to contextualise the day’s discussions.
Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Transport and Multicultural Affairs, Queensland provided a clear view of the scale and costs involved in re-building the State. When you consider that 28% of the State’s roads were damaged by floods, the recent budget figures of $4.2bn for flood disaster recovery starts to take shape. The road to recovery has been a great planning and construction and effort and given the remarkable progress to date, there were murmurs in the room that money can make miracles happen.
From one natural disaster to another, Professor Ed Blakely spoke about Cyclone Katrina (fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/53572.pdf) and the lessons learnt from the rebuilding of New Orleans. The scale of Katrina was staggering with 100% of all infrastructure destroyed and 80% of the city destroyed – including all hospitals and schools.
Reflecting on natural disasters, Prof Blakely warned that the worst is yet to come given the growing unpredictability of mother nature. As a result, he advised to:
1) Prepare for the back-end
2) Move inland – Which is very counter-intuitive for a coastal loving nation like Australia!
3) Build economic strength with intelligent city structure nodes
4) Focus on short trips with integrated community facilities
Talking about how the Queensland State Government’s plans for connecting regional centres with Connecting SEQ 2031, Gavin Nicholls provided the very informative and easy to understand ‘sanctity charts’ to show where the investment needs to be directed.
From the regions to the centre, Cr Margaret de Wit, Councillor for Pullenvale and Chair of Infrastructure, Brisbane City Council gave an honest appraisal of the Council’s plans to keep Brisbane moving. When you consider the statistics she highlighted (congestion costs Brisbane $1.3bn per annum; 90% of freight in Brisbane moves by road and this freight task is set to double by 2020) you can understand her faith in the future benefits of the Legacy Way program. This ambitious project is expected to deliver real benefits to those communities in the south west. Will it also go towards appease public distrust over the Clem 7?
The key themes to emerge from day one were the need to develop strategies to:
– Move more people and even more freight
– Think about recovery in planning
– Look at smart city designs that focus on nodes, modes and o&d patterns
– Provide alternative choices for road
– Target sustainability; influence consumer behaviour and maintain rigour on strategic planning, execution and ppp partnerships
To return to another quote by, Cameron Curtis, the urban briefing agenda was “a really informative day focusing on the major challenges and areas of focus for transport infrastructure in Queensland. It featured a really impressive speaker list involving: the QLD Transport Minister; 2 professors, 2 senior city councillors, a rail CEO, designers of transport strategy; consumer group leaders, engineering gurus and a very passionate sustainability guru”.
Day Two provided a look at the Federal Government’s role in freight and transport planning; developments towards integrated freight and intelligent transport; a look at where the money comes from and project updates from the airport, port and rail industries.
To read Part 2 of this article, go here.