Advice Provided to Lord Mayor Graham Quirk on Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade
Thank you for providing the Queensland Transport and Logistics Council (QTLC) with the opportunity to review your plans for the proposed upgrade of Kingsford Smith Drive and for taking the time to walk me through the proposal at our recent meeting.
The QTLC is the peak body for the freight and logistics industry in Queensland; hence we are vitally concerned to ensure that freight movement, by whatever mode, is fully and properly considered in any planning context. We are also well aware that freight transport, particularly in Brisbane, is growing at a rate far exceeding that of population growth and, as such, represents an increasing proportion of the contribution to urban congestion.
Nevertheless, personal vehicles will continue to predominate as the root cause of congestion in Brisbane, particularly in the case of KSD as it represents the only viable route and means of transport for the many people finding employment within the growing Australia Trade Coast (ATC) precinct.
We are also aware that KSD represents one of the most highly trafficked freight routes under BCC control and provides an important link for freight consumers and generators nearby, including the CBD. The construction industry in particular is very reliant on KSD to afford timely access to project sites.
Whilst the phasing out of cargo shipping operations in the Hamilton Reach and the advent of alternative routes for freight will go some way to reducing heavy freight movements along the corridor, there will remain a significant number of businesses reliant on timely freight deliveries within the Hamilton area. As the process or urban renewal takes its inevitable course and commuter numbers continue to grow, it must be recognised that freight movements will also grow to satisfy local demand for basic essentials.
In terms of benefits to freight transport from the proposed upgrade of KSD, may I offer the following observations:
Increased public transport capacity
The QTLC, whilst being a strong advocate for the freight industry, appreciates the benefits that mass public transport options (both road and rail) can deliver in terms of relieving peak congestion. We also appreciate that putting more buses on an already congested route is likely to do little to increase patronage. Hence we are supportive of measures which will increase the viability of public transport options which will not impose on the freight existing capacity of KSD. This implies a need to upgrade KSD to accommodate bus capacity.
We, in South-east Queensland, are much the envy of our southern counterparts because we had the foresight to establish the ATC as a hub for industrial activity, including for freight and logistics capacity to serve the region. This vision is now being reflected in significant private sector investment both in the sea and airports as well as by industries which can capitalise on being in close proximity to these assets. KSD will continue to be a significant corridor in terms of freight movement to and from the ATC, given the proposed constraints on freight movement on the Airport Link Project and already implemented for Clem7.
Air freight, whilst not significant in terms of the volume of freight moving around SEQ, is nonetheless valuable and usually time sensitive. Although Brisbane airport is now proximate to a functioning Gateway Motorway there remains a need for this freight traffic to access parts of the City not well served by other corridors such as the Airport Link project.
The growing market for imported goods sourced over the internet is leading to significant growth in the number of light commercial vehicles accessing the road network and many of these trips have their origin and destination at the airport freight terminals.
There are a growing number of both importers and domestic freight generators which are logically siting their DCs in the ATC precinct, many of which can be best served from an upgraded KSD.
Whilst the eastern end of KSD, on which Council has already commenced much appreciated upgrades, is of key importance for the use of freight efficient vehicles and thus provides robust linkages to major arterial routes, KSD west of the Gateway Motorway is a vital link for light freight making its way to and from the region as a whole.
The QTLC’s abiding desire is that, whatever upgrade option is ultimately selected, it provides capacity for freight not afforded by circuitous alternatives or tolled options and those businesses adjacent to the corridor, of which there are many, can get access to the goods they need to support the ambitions of higher residential densities in the area.
Thank you again for offering the QTLC the opportunity to lend its support to this valuable and important project and please note that we are more than willing to provide further support in answer to specific issues should they arise.