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14 June 2007 Sir Rod Eddington East-West Link Needs Assessment C

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14 June 2007 Sir Rod Eddington East-West Link Needs Assessment C Powered By Docstoc
					14 June 2007


Sir Rod Eddington
East-West Link Needs Assessment
C/- Department of Infrastructure
GPO Box 2797
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

C/- eastwest@doi.vic.gov.au


Dear Sir Rod,

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Submission to the East-West Link Needs
Assessment.

Introduction

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) is the peak industry body and has within its
membership infrastructure developers, constructors, investors and operators, as well as
transport service providers and government departments and agencies.

IPA is dedicated to improving the provision of infrastructure in Australia, recognising the
well documented positive relationship between infrastructure capability and economic
productivity and performance.

We are acutely aware of the complexity associated with the formation and delivery of
infrastructure, particularly in ensuring infrastructure services are ‘fit for purpose’ and can
be managed effectively over the course of their very long economic life. To this end, IPA
endeavors to create a community of learning among public and private infrastructure
practitioners that will support realistic expectations and enduring outcomes as well as
greater opportunities for private sector to contribute and work in close co-operation with
government in developing infrastructure and services.

Accordingly, IPA welcomes the opportunity provided by the Victorian Premier and
yourself to comment on the East-West Link Needs Assessment, which we acknowledge
as essential in contributing to both the transport infrastructure and economic
development of Melbourne, Victoria and Australia.

Melbourne as a ‘Global’ City

Melbourne has successfully positioned itself as a ‘Global City’ and as such contributes
significantly to the economic growth of both the state of Victoria and of the nation as a
whole. It is essential to Victoria’s and Australia’s continued economic development
that Melbourne maintains and sustains its reputation as one of the world’s most
vibrant cities with its urban amenity as a vital foundation for its economic progress.

To maintain this position the Victorian Government must continue to demonstrate its
commitment to facilitating infrastructure to accommodate forecast growth and to position
itself competitively in the global economy.

It is of critical importance that an efficient and integrated transport network is in place to
secure the future prosperity of Victoria. An essential part of this will be the consideration
of the movement of east-west traffic through Melbourne together with a focus on
freight going into and leaving the Port of Melbourne.

The Government in commissioning this assessment is taking an important step towards
addressing Melbourne’s long-term integrated transport outcomes that will support
economic growth, continue to identify solutions that will support coexistence between
the escalating freight task, passenger movement and urban livability.

In doing so, the Government should recognize its strong position that has been achieved
both in terms of machinery of government in the procurement of infrastructure, and its
unique capability to partner with the private sector to ensure value for money
infrastructure that endures over the whole life of the assets. In particular, the Southern &
Eastern Integrated Transport Authority (SEITA) has developed world class capability in
this area and is ideally suited for the delivery of the East West Tunnel. The outstanding
capability of the Victorian government in infrastructure augurs well for the very effective
delivery of this project.

The importance of this assessment is highlighted by the positive and significant
population growth of Melbourne that is expected to increase by about 25% by 2030.
While this outlook is compelling in itself for major transport infrastructure investment, the
geographic distribution of this growth will see a concentration of population growth in
the Eastern suburbs, and will account for approximately 30% of Melbourne population in
itself by that time.

Equally, the population growth will also see a significant increase in employment levels
and opportunities that will further support the Eastern Tunnel catchment as being the
most appropriate focus for facilitating further investment in transport infrastructure.

In planning for these desired outcomes the Government should consider the following:

    CityLink and Eastern Freeway are continuing to yield significant traffic volumes
     with direct consequences for traffic in northern Melbourne.

    Traffic problems evident at Hoddle Street, Nicholson St and Alexandra Parade
     and could be further exacerbated with opening of EastLink next year.

    Eastern suburbs do not have enough options to service this area, and that will
     negatively impact the road network in the future owing to unforeseen blockages
     and disruptions. This will serve to create a fragile network that is hostage to
     breakdown and other road disruptions that can disrupt the broader road network.
 The timing of the Tunnel needs be sequential to the completion of EastLink in
  2008, allowing for the delivery of the Tunnel by SEITA and it would also mitigate
  potential supply constraints of the construction workforce.

 Providing continuity of projects for the workforce associated with EastLink is
  highly desirable in sustaining this capability as a local resource. The absence of
  sufficient major projects like the Tunnel in Victoria could result in the dilution of
  the workforce or its outright relocation to other states or abroad.

 Planning for the projected doubling in freight traffic into and out of Australia’s
  largest container and cargo port by 2020.

 Providing for the expansion of container traffic through the Port of Melbourne;

 Reducing the growing road congestion which is harming community amenity and
  creating a dead weight loss to the economy - a cost of up to $2.6 billion per year
  if measures are not taken to address congestion (estimate by the Victorian
  Competition and Efficiency Commission);

 Addressing costs associated with carbon emissions and environmental factors
  attributed to congestion.

 Providing an alternative to the Monash – City Link – Westgate Freeway which is
  currently the only east-west connection.

 Completing the ‘orbital’ road around the CBD.

 Providing for public transport, cycling and pedestrian and urban amenity.




                              Essential Outcomes

             Continued and Enhanced economic development
             Accommodate forecast population and urban growth
             Provide an efficient and integrated transport network
             Leverage world class expertise of SEITA and government
             Retain capability of local workforce associated with
              EastLink.
             Facilitate movement of east-west traffic including freight in
              and out of Port of Melbourne
             Enhance urban livability
Submission

In accordance with the call for Stakeholder views Infrastructure Partnerships Australia
has structured its response utilizing the topic headings provided:

1.     Current Transport Volumes and Patterns Likely Changes Over the next 30
       years

       Forecast population growth will place new demands on Melbourne’s transport
       system and a balance must be maintained between urban amenity and the
       traffic demands that will accompany this forecast growth.

       Congestion is currently a primary limiting issue on Melbourne’s connectivity and
       amenity. This is further supported with traffic analysis including that of Macquarie
       Bank which expects that the predominant trip destination from catchment areas is
       the CBD. To accommodate growth and alleviate congestion the solutions
       must focus on direct connections through so called CBD portals. It is further
       anticipated that by 2031, the increase in the number of trips to the CBD from the
       Eastern suburbs will have caused levels of congestion that gridlock the northern
       Melbourne arterial network. This will further deteriorate capacity and reliability of
       public transport (including impacts on commuter rail, tram and bus services), and
       affected freight movement.

       With population growth comes increased traffic movement through private vehicle
       commuter traffic, public transport utilization, and freight, and these will place
       significant pressure on the capacity of Melbourne’s road and rail networks. Heavy
       rail services are experiencing high rates of growth leading to overcrowding,
       especially on peak hour services. Future growth is forecast to come from new
       residential developments to the south-east and west of the city which will place
       even more pressure on peak rail services.

       Additionally, improving travel times for on-road public transport is essential to
       improving the competitiveness of public transport in relation to private vehicle use.

       Accordingly, doing nothing is not an option. The cost of congestion in
       Melbourne will double to $8 billion annually by 2015. Over 60% of these costs
       are borne by business, particularly the freight industry. The peak travel speed is
       projected to decline (19.7km/h to 15.2km/h) despite the completion of recent
       major road improvement.


2.     Capacity of Existing and Planned Infrastructure to Meet Future
       Requirements

       The East-West Link Needs Assessment study provides a welcome opportunity for
       the Government to take a visionary long-term approach to meeting the transport
       infrastructure needs of Melbourne. It is essential that transport infrastructure
       be considered in anticipation of long term needs and not be subject to short
       term planning and special interests.
     As indicated in point 1 above, the primary issues to be addressed are freight
     to and from the Port of Melbourne, the connectivity of the existing road
     network and public transport infrastructure, congestion, and the need to
     supplement the Monash-CityLink- Westgate Freeway corridor.

     Currently Melbourne has a lack of options across the urban area as there is only
     one major East-West link - the Monash – City Link – Westgate Freeway.

     Accordingly, considerations that this assessment should look towards are options
     for providing sufficient future capacity around the Port to accommodate predicted
     growth in freight volume, including links to primary industrial locations with the
     Port, and; addressing issues surrounding congestion and thoroughfare for the
     corridors from the eastern freeway to the city and Monash and Westgate.
     Importantly, as congestion escalates, the East-West Link will provide greater
     robustness from one part of the road network being disrupted owing to, say, an
     accident, contaminating the rest of the network causing loss of economic output,
     frustration and inconvenience. This is an important consideration in strengthening
     the network to deliver services even in worse case circumstances.


3.   Balancing the Needs of Freight Traffic with the Needs of Residents

     Priority for freight movement should be a primary consideration for the
     assessment, but this needs to be married with a package of public transport
     improvements, especially if construction of an east-west tunnel (see point 5
     below) is delivered.

     Currently freight access to and from the Port through the west, and freight
     movements between the Port and the south west industrial areas, rely on transit
     through residential areas. This is not sustainable given the anticipated increases in
     freight volumes around the Port.

     Additionally, when EastLink opens in 2008 it will attract more traffic to the Eastern
     Freeway and truck volumes are expected to be high. Accordingly, better
     connectivity will be essential to provide better access to the Port.

     If freight capacity cannot be effectively and efficiently accommodated, freight
     costs will increase and economic competitiveness decline.

     However, balancing urban amenity with traffic and freight demands is a challenge
     in any major city, where planning needs to consider that residents have
     reasonable access and can travel with safety and certainty of travel time.

     Additionally, community expectations in avoiding adverse environmental impacts
     and in regard to expected reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with
     awareness of climate change and the environmental impact of development,
     should influence community acceptance of any major infrastructure projects.
     Accordingly, planning for the needs of the East-West Link must look to mitigate its
     impact in these areas.


4.   Development of Options to Address Capacity Constraints and Future
     Demand, Future Needs of Port and Associated Commercial Traffic

     The Port of Melbourne exceeded 2 million container movements in 2006, and
     these are forecast to increase significantly. In anticipation of this, the Assessment
     should consider provision of direct access at the Port for both rail and road, with
     multiple links to inter-modals together with a freight rail line connecting the Port to
     the west.

     This is supported by the Victorian Government’s own Port@L Strategy for the
     development of the Port which identifies a number of issues relevant to the East-
     West Link examination. These are the anticipated significant increase in freight
     movements, required improvement to access routes to the Port, and the limiting of
     growth of freight movements if the only access is through the Monash Freeway –
     CitiLink – Westgate Freeway.


5.   Consideration of Range of Measures to Meet Future Demands

     East-West Road Tunnel

     The assessment should consider the highly desirable provision of a road tunnel
     from the Eastern Freeway to the Tullamarine Freeway (as a first stage), with a
     possible further connection across to the metropolitan ring road (as a second
     stage) forming a broader multiple stage East-West transport strategy. The
     strategy should include a connection between the Eastern Freeway and CityLink
     with interchanges at Nicholson Street and Royal Parade with the potential to
     include CBD and other additional portals. The portals should provide greater road
     capacity at existing locations, reduce congestion north of the CBD, and lead to
     suitable road network connections leading to the wider catchment.

     These proposals would bring a number of important benefits to the functioning of
     Melbourne’s integrated transport network and provide an opportunity to build into
     the project public transport infrastructure solutions from the outset.

     An east-west tunnel would have the positive effect of removing a significant
     proportion of traffic from inner city streets, free up capacity on existing congested
     roads, increase reliability and reduce travel times for public transport, and
     additionally would provide enhanced access to Melbourne University and the
     hospital precinct.

     The construction of a road tunnel would also provide in surrounding areas an
     opportunity for significantly expanding road priority measures for trams and buses,
     and making provision for cycling and pedestrian amenity.
     An east-west tunnel would alleviate surface road congestion and improve amenity.
     Currently, east-west movements through the northern end of the city require small
     and large vehicles to traverse suburban streets.

     The delivery of an East West Tunnel could be facilitated by the Southern &
     Eastern Integrated Transport Authority (SEITA). It is feasible for these proposals
     to be undertaken as a self-funding PPP project (see point 6. below) and to be
     undertaken sequentially with the completion of EastLink in 2008.



                       The East-West Transport Strategy

              Can be undertaken as a staged transport solution
               commencing from the East.
              Provides integrated transport network including public
               transport solutions
              Removes significant traffic from CBD
              Provides enhanced access, and CBD productivity
              Significantly enhances urban amenity




6.   Funding Issues, Sequencing of Projects, Funding Capacity of Public and
     Private Sectors and the Capacity of the Construction Industry to Deliver

     The provision of the North-West link is a comprehensive and appropriate initiative
     that will ensure the most economically effective and socially beneficial solution.

     Victoria has achieved a very high state of readiness to ensure the successful
     delivery of the Tunnel. Within Government, Victoria’s public service represents the
     high water mark in Australia for capability and expertise in the procurement of
     infrastructure. IPA acknowledges that SEITA has developed world class capability
     in the delivery of major infrastructure projects.

     The timing of the project would be sequential to the completion of EastLink
     in 2008, allowing for the delivery of the Tunnel by SEITA and it would also
     mitigate potential supply constraints of the construction workforce. Providing
     continuity of projects for the workforce associated with EastLink is highly
     desirable in sustaining this capability as a local resource. The absence of
     sufficient major projects like the Tunnel in Victoria could result in the dilution of
     the workforce or its outright relocation to other states or abroad. This situation
     should be avoided by the progression of the tunnel through approval mechanisms
     as expeditiously as possible.

     Government should utilise private funding to the greatest extent possible and
     consider Public Private Partnership (PPP), similar to other successful PPPs
     such as CityLink and EastLink in Melbourne, and Sydney's Westlink M7. A tri-
     partite funding model is attractive in bringing together federal, state and
     private resources for the sound delivery of the corridor.
The utilization of a PPP procurement method would provide the government with
an opportunity to free up its own resources, whilst taking advantage of reduced
completion time and transfer of many associated risks, including whole of life
management of the asset, to the private sector.

The East-West link is suited to the application of a PPP as it will fill the
missing link in Melbourne’s transport network.

As indicated, a vital consideration for this assessment should be the necessary
policy framework surrounding coordination between federal, state and local
governments. There is a compelling case for major Federal Government
funding contribution to such a high profile, nationally significant project. Impact
on freight capacity alone should provide economic grounds for such a claim.
Additionally, federal funding on the Sydney Western Orbital M7 provides an
appropriate precedent.

It is also vital for the Victorian Government to move quickly with the East-West
Link project in order to secure AusLink 2 funding. The project is one of national
significance and the expeditious conduct of this needs assessment, and
implementation of its recommendations, will be essential to that end.

In conclusion, this project should see an integrated effort, providing a balanced
and sustainable solution, including those for public transport, with all levels of
government working together.




                            Project Feasibility

         Tri-partite Funding model –Federal, State and Private
         Compelling case for Federal Government Funding
         Sequential rollout in 2008 post EastLink will ensure
          access to skilled workforce and leverage world class
          expertise of SEITA.
         Tunnel has strong credentials as a PPP Project
         Freeing up of Government Resources for other high
          priority and sensitive infrastructure.
         SEITA has been an excellent initiative, and should be
          adopted for Tunnel delivery.
         Unambiguous economic benefits through enhanced
          freight capacity
Concluding Comment

       The transport needs of Melbourne based on its economic outlook are profound.
       Future economic opportunity as is clearly evident in Melbourne manifests itself
       most strongly in the task of freight and passenger transport.

       The timely roll out of infrastructure is essential to the fulfilment of this outlook.
       Accordingly, this needs assessment should consider the highly desirable
       provision of a road tunnel from the Eastern Freeway to the Tullamarine Freeway
       with a further connection provided in a staged rollout to the metropolitan ring
       road.

       The Eastern tunnel would be a first step in an East-West transport solution,
       providing a road (tunnel) link between Eastern Freeway, CityLink and the CBD.

       Victoria has achieved a very high state of readiness to ensure the successful
       delivery of the Tunnel. Within Government, Victoria’s public service represents the
       high water mark in Australia for capability and expertise in the procurement of
       infrastructure.

       The timing of the project should be sequential to the completion of EastLink in
       2008, allowing for the delivery of the Tunnel by SEITA and it would also ensure a
       skilled construction workforce to deliver this project.


Should you have any enquiries or queries regarding this submission please do not
hesitate to contact Graeme Geldart, Director, Policy & Administration, on (02) 9240
2056.


Yours sincerely,




Garry Bowditch
Executive Director

				
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