Eyre Peninsula railway closure a concern

The imminent closure of the Central Railway Corridor and its affect on Eyre Peninsula roads has been the subject of much debate by all EP councils over recent months.

With Eyre Peninsula producing up to 39 per cent of the state’s wheat in any given year, the extra heavy vehicles required to transport this grain by road instead of freighting by rail, is estimated at about 25,000 to 30,000 additional truck movements.

The activity will have a serious impact on our roads, accelerating the deterioration.

This council has long held serious concerns about the safety of traffic movements on the Tod and Birdseye highways, a view upheld by Member for Flinders Peter Treloar, who has advocated on our behalf for improvements to the road systems on Eyre Peninsula.

The further risk to road safety due to additional heavy vehicle movements mixing with light vehicles, caravans and farm machinery has also been identified.

I have written to the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll on a number of occasions about the closure of the central railway corridor and its effect on our roads and have forwarded this correspondence to both the state and federal governments to apprise them of this critical matter.

On February 20, I attended a meeting with the minister in Adelaide and was able to submit a further representation of this council’s stance.

I appreciated the opportunity to discuss the issue face to face and to hear the minister’s position.

Of course, council will continue to petition the minister to act to improve the condition of the roads as a matter of urgency.

Last week I attended the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association Conference in Kimba.

These conferences are a great way to network with our neighbouring councils, discuss issues affecting the Eyre Peninsula and collaborate on future ideas and developments.

Congratulations to the Kimba District Council on hosting a very successful conference.

MALCOLM HANCOCK

Elliston District Council mayor