EP freight plan 'off the rails': Centre Alliance

EP road funding "barely enough": Centre Alliance

Grains
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Concerns have been about insufficient funding to fix Eyre Peninsula's road infrastructure, following the recent release of the EP Freight Study by the state government.

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THE Centre Alliance Party has raised concerns about insufficient funding to fix Eyre Peninsula's road infrastructure and the possible increase in fatalities, following the recent release of the EP Freight Study by the state government.

"The document reveals the plan to shift grain transport from rail to solely road is the worst of all outcomes," Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick said.

In February, sole EP rail user Viterra announced it would not renew its rail contract with Genesee & Wyoming Australia and would transition to road freight from June 1.

Centre Alliance's Andrea Broadfoot said it was disappointing the state government didn't follow the report's basic recommendation to complete some road upgrades before the rail network closed down.

"The document contains a road upgrade cost estimate of $90 million," Ms Broadfoot said.

"Instead we have a purported commitment for $26m - barely enough for road upgrades and maintenance in the vicinity of Port Lincoln.

"The report clearly states that the closure of rail will directly impact the safety and social amenity of Port Lincoln.

"We know Cummins are deeply concerned about the increase in road trains on their main street.

"We have governments with all the information at-hand to make a plan, but they haven't."

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Ms Broadfoot said under the current arrangements, the number of heavy vehicles on the EP's road network and travelling through Port Lincoln would increase.

"Aside from the increase in greenhouse emission and harmful pollutants that flows from this, it could result in an increase in fatalities on EP roads," she said.

"The report states heavy vehicles are involved in 20 per cent of all fatalities on EP roads. Increasing the number of trucks on the roads could likely increase the number of fatalities.

"The government has ignored clear recommendations on a vital piece of regional infrastructure for EP."

Transport Minister Stephan Knoll was unavailable for comment.

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