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Journeys : Dec2011 Jan2012
The Illawarra Main Road is a vital freight and transport connection between the Bass Highway and the Midland Highway, with trucks making up a significant 15-16% of the average total vehicle movements of around 4000 per day. Apart from a couple of key safety upgrades, improvements to this busy link road seem to have been de-prioritised. This is despite two important studies recommending that a range of improvements are required. The Illawarra Main Road Planning Study (2000) identified ten key projects to upgrade the road (although some of these have had their priority modified since then). Another document, the Perth Roads Priorities for Improvement, was produced in 2008 and included other roads in the community within its scope. The RACT argues that it should be added to the National Land Transport Network (formerly AusLink) to ref lect its fundamental importance to the overall Tasmanian road network. A report in 2009 by the Tasmanian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Works investigating the roundabout works at the Longford junction described Illawarra Main Road in this way: “ [It] runs from the Midland Highway at Perth to the Bass Highway south of Carrick. Illawarra Main Road essentially serves as a bypass of Launceston for traffic travelling between the northwest and south of Tasmania. This bypass function is particularly important for the movement of freight and primarily for this reason Illawarra Main Road is classified as a Category 1 - Trunk Road (the highest of five categories) in the Tasmanian State Road Hierarchy” (Parliament of Tasmania, 2009. Standing Committee on Public Works: Illawarra Main Road; page 1). DIER officers gave evidence to the 2009 Committee that the development of the earlier planning study “ ...was in the context that the State would push to have Illawarra Main Road included in the AusLink network.” but that “The Federal Government has made it very clear that that is not going to happen.” A local landow ner, however, put the other side of the argument in his evidence to the Committee: “It is a de facto national highway, as I see it, and I am not quite sure what the situation with it is as far as the department is concerned and AusLink et cetera and where the funding comes from... [Freight] is getting more and more a problem to us and relative to the situation over the railway line.” The R ACT will continue to lobby the Federal Government to add Illawarra Main Road to the NLTN, in the hope that this will lead to attracting more funding to upgrade the overall safety of the road. The full report can be read online or downloaded as a PDF document at http://bit.ly/IllawarraRoad. The figures used in this ar ticle are based on those quoted in the 2009 Parliamentary Report. Illawarra Main Road – a vital link Chairman – and now Mayor Stuart Slade, the R ACT’s President and Chairman, has a new title. Stuart was recently elected Mayor of Glenorchy by people living in the municipality. Stuart is a fifth generation Glenorchy resident, and a for mer police officer, who now r uns his ow n business. The RACT extends its congratulations to Stuart. It is believed to be the first time in the long histor y of the club that a ser ving President has also been elected Mayor of a major Tasmanian municipality. Summer is sublime in Tasmania. No other state can do it as wonderfully as we can. That’s why I’ll be attending some of the great events that occur around the state at this time of the year. Festivale in Launceston’s City Park is one of them. The RACT is a major sponsor of Festivale and we will be suppor ting the Festivale infor mation tent. I’ll be at Festivale with my family, enjoying some great food, listening to the live music, and having a sip or two. Tasmanian pinot sounds about r ight. But there is a serious side to our involvement in Festivale. The RACT will be promoting a safe driving message for Festivale visitors to remind them that if they’re driving then that sip or two remains just that. We want to ensure patrons have a safe journey after their day out. That goes for all drivers, whatever they are doing over the holiday season. It is a tragic fact that road trauma never takes a holiday. So please be safe over the summer break and remember that alcohol and driving don’t mix. It will also be a short change of pace for me after a very busy first year in the job as RACT Chief Executive Officer. RACT Health Insurance, which we launched this year, was a major new initiative for the RACT. I’m pleased to see that many of our members are switching to this service, which is tailored to the Tasmanian community, is competitive, introduces more choice and is operated by a trusted Tasmanian organisation. In the year ahead, we have some exciting new initiatives under planning, which are again designed to deliver a quality service and provide more choice and benefits to our members. So watch this space over the next few months. This has also been a successful year for the RACT on our advocacy front. We finally convinced the Government to end the confusion over End Speed Limit signs on our rural roads, although as I write, we still eagerly await to see what sort of signage will replace it. We also campaigned effectively – with the strong support of our members – against a one-size-fits-all blanket speed reduction on rural roads. This is an issue we will continue to monitor carefully, because our research showed that rural road trauma is a complex issue, and speed alone is not a major contr ibutor. Again, enjoy the summer break and return safely and refreshed in 2012. Harvey Lennon, Chief E xecutive Officer From the CEO The Tasmanian Government receives maintenan ce funding payments from the Au stralian Govern ment for the Tasmanian roads th at are part of the Nation al Land Transp ort N etwork (formerly Auslink) such as the East Tamar Highway In our community 6 December 2011 / January 2012
Oct Nov 2011
Feb March 2012