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Green Triangle Freight Action Plan

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) is an active member of the Green Triangle Regional Freight Action Plan Committee (the Committee), bringing together key stakeholders in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia and south western Victoria.

Unique in its membership, the Committee has representatives from both the South Australian and Victorian state governments, nine local governments from both states, both Cross Border Commissioners and a number of industry representatives with a focus on supply chains. The Committee’s purpose is evidence-based advocacy on key freight routes that is validated by industry.

The Committee’s advocacy has resulted in funding for upgrades to the four key freight routes in the Green Triangle region. We see these freight routes not just as roads, but as enabling infrastructure connecting regional businesses to local and international markets, allowing greater regional employment and business growth. This investment, including through the Roads of Strategic Importance Initiative, assists industries to be more productive, and reinvest into more efficient supply chain outcomes.
Green Triangle Freight Action Plan Update

Rail Corridor & Freight Analysis (Transit)

Reinstatement of a freight rail service between Mount Gambier and Heywood could benefit local business by as much as $15.6 million annually according to a report released by Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC).
Commissioned by RDALC, the report was undertaken by CSIRO which used modelling to map the region’s freight task and supply chains for major commodities including timber, livestock, dairy products and crops.

The report showed that reinstating the rail line along the currently unused rail corridor from the eastern outskirts of Mount Gambier to link into the existing rail services at Heywood would open the door for products from this region to more efficiently reach major Australian markets and ports.

“This report has critically analysed the volume, variety and movement of the commodities in our region so we can understand our region’s freight demand and supply chains and the opportunity for rail in the Limestone Coast,” (former) RDALC Chair Peter Gandolfi said.

“This analysis estimated road and rail transport costs for major commodities moving across and out of our region. Crucial to the process was identifying where potential savings can be made through reinstating rail for current and future freight demands.

“The report has revealed that for the commodities included in this study, approximately 527,000 truck movements use at least part of the Limestone Coast region’s transport network. Of these about 476,000 movements originate in or are destined for the region,” said Mr Gandolfi.

Mr Gandolfi said not only does the report identify direct freight savings for local businesses, it also indicates other economic and social benefits if a rail freight service was reinstated.

“A further $1.5 million in savings each year has been identified through reduced road maintenance and avoided accidents,” Mr Gandolfi said.

The RDALC has conservatively estimated that an investment of between $120 and $150 million to reinvigorate the line between Mount Gambier and Heywood would offer a return on investment within nine years. The investment would also include establishing a freight depot (intermodal) on the eastern outskirts of Mount Gambier from where the rail would be re-instated along the existing corridor to Heywood.

The reinstatement of the line between Mount Gambier and Wolseley was evaluated by CSIRO but was found to have a very low economic benefit to the region and incur a much greater cost to reinstate than the Heywood line.

“With our economic prosperity in this region being directly linked to market access, the cost of transporting our product to market is critical,” Mr Gandolfi said. “This report has provided an analysis of total and per tonne transport costs and potential transport cost reduction by commodity and mode of transport, which means decision makers now have clear information to make investment decisions on infrastructure needs.

“The next step is to work with governments to undertake a full engineering assessment and cost analysis for the reinstatement of the rail line between Mount Gambier and Heywood,” Mr Gandolfi said.

The report, ‘Rail corridor and freight analysis for the Limestone Coast and South West Victoria – Application of TraNSIT’, is available below or by contacting the office via email info@rdalc.org.au

TraNSIT Limestone Coast Final Report
TraNSIT Limestone Coast Factsheet

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