A plan to overhaul SA’s freight network has been dumped.
Premier Steven Marshall has ditched the ambitious air, rail and road GlobeLink project that he proposed in 2017 due to its enormous cost.
The plan, entailing a second major SA airport near Monarto, a planned freeway connection and freight rail upgrade, would cost $7 billion according to a State Government commissioned business case.
The South Australian Freight Council (SAFC) – SA’s peak transport industry lobby group – has welcomed the announcement.
SAFC Executive Officer, Mr Evan Knapp, said the announcement is a relief.
“The original Globelink package was announced almost 3 years ago to the day, and would have done significant harm to the freight industry in SA. This in turn would have increased costs for our customers, in particular the state’s exporters” Mr Knapp said.
“It would have also cost billions – scarce infrastructure dollars that can now be spent on far more beneficial projects such as completing the North South Corridor and improving road maintenance” he said.
The whole project will not be abandoned, however. Several road connectivity options identified in the report will now be investigated to explore opportunities that could deliver upon the objectives of GlobeLink in the long term, after the completion of the North-South Corridor.
These options include upgrades to Cross Road and new road freight routes which could potentially bypass the South Eastern Freeway to the North-South Corridor or Adelaide’s North.
Steven Marshall announced GlobeLink in 2017, spruiking it as “a plan that will reshape the South Australian landscape, literally. A generational upgrade to South Australia’s road and rail network”.
SA Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas said the Premier has lost credibility.
"This is yet another broken promise by Steven Marshall which joins a long list – including no privatisations, more jobs, lower costs, better services, cutting Land Tax, saving $302 on household power bills, real-time fuel pricing and the right-hand tram turn," Mr Malinauskas said.
Image above, proposed build rail and road corridor and at top - an artist’s impressions of a 24-hour export airport near Monarto, supplied GlobeLink