Transport projects from Wollongong to Melbourne were on the agenda when the South East Australian Transport Strategy (SEATS) group held its quarterly meeting in Batemans Bay last week.
Hosted by Eurobodalla Shire Council, the two day meeting and dinner was attended by 40 delegates and guests from NSW and Victoria.
Following a warm welcome from Mayor Liz Innes, delegates heard reports from Transport For Victoria, VicRoads and RMS Southern NSW outlining developments and the progress of priority transport projects such as new bridges at Batemans Bay and Nelligen, and upgrades to the Princes Highway between Gerringong to Nowra.
Local presenters included Council’s business assistance team talking about the Moruya Airport redevelopment and oyster grower Ben Ralston discussing the importance of the transport network to his fifth-generation business.
Council’s Director of Infrastructure Warren Sharpe led a tour of important Council projects including the Glenella Road (South Batemans Bay Link Road), Batemans Bay Marina, Corrigans Beach inclusive playground, Hanging Rock regional recreation facility, and the Mackay Park precinct.
Guest speaker at Thursday night’s dinner was Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis who spoke about chairing the Black-Spot Funding committee, a subject of vital interest to SEATS members and delegates.
SEATS Executive Officer John Duscher said the meeting was informative and productive as always.
“In a rapidly growing region of nearly two million people, SEATS represents an independent voice for transport in south-east Australia that is respected at all levels of government.
"We have a significant role in identifying and prioritising transport projects and then advocating to see projects are planned, funded and achieved.
“Within Eurobodalla, it is essential the NSW Government provide the funding and get on with making the link from the Princes Highway to the South Batemans Bay Link Road. This bypass is key to stimulating and servicing $800 million in development and growth around Batemans Bay.
“We’re also advocating for the NSW Government to fund the progressive upgrade of the Kings Highway and build on the good work done to date. With Canberra growing from 350,000 to 500,000 people, Canberra airport opening up to international markets, and freight coming from Goulburn to the coast via the Kings Highway, this key east-west link must continue to be upgraded to meet the obvious economic and social needs of the region.”
Mr Duscher said the next SEATS meeting will be held in Sale, Victoria in August, where the work of the Gippsland Regional Roads Group will be presented.
SEATS is a partnership of councils, state road and rail departments, port authorities, local communities, private businesses and business leaders, federal government departments and economic development agencies. Media Release