Eyre Peninsula freight study highlights costs

Grain shift to cost millions

More funding will be needed to upgrade the Eyre Peninsula road network according to the Eyre Peninsula Freight Study released this month.

The state government released its report in early April which details options for a freight strategy on Eyre Peninsula.

The report used the "most likely" option, that freight would transition from rail to road, as a base case and highlighted the need for road infrastructure upgrades.

This included shoulder sealing, overtaking lanes and additional road rehabilitation to improve impacted roads to 'fair' condition in accordance with Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure road grades.

So far about $25 million has been announced by the federal government to upgrade the road network to cater for increased truck movements.

South Australia's Minister for Transport Stephan Knoll said about 60 to 70 per cent of grain was hauled by road on Eyre Peninsula and grain transport would continue to change as work on port projects, such as T-Ports at Lucky Bay, came to fruition.

"All of these ports and proposals for future grain ports will further reduce future rail freight volumes, making the rail network even more unviable," he said.

The report shows roads affected by the closure of rail will include the Tod Highway and Lincoln Highway between Arno Bay and Port Lincoln, as well as Balumbah-Kinnaird, Wharminda and Western Approach roads.

The report shows the base case option would require about $95.5 million in road infrastructure investment with about $50.7 million in road maintenance costs.

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick has criticised the government for its inaction and for going with an option that was shown to have negative environmental and safety effects.

Grey candidate Andrea Broadfoot said there had not been a plan put in place and the document showed more than $95 million in investment was needed.

"Instead we have a purported commitment for $26 million, barely enough for road upgrades and maintenance in the vicinity of Port Lincoln," she said.

"The whole situation is a sad indictment on our governments."

Member for Flinders Peter Treloar welcomed the announcement of funding for the Eyre Peninsula road network but said there would be ongoing lobbying.

"It will take more than that and there will be ongoing lobbying from state and federal government for more funding," he said.

Mr Treloar said he would continue to work closely with Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey and Mr Knoll and would keep the community informed on how and where upgrades would happen.

He said he would look towards road widening and passing lanes.

Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association president Sam Telfer said the release of the report was well received

"It's certainly something that needed to happen for us to get a big picture on the rationale behind the decision," he said.

Mr Telfer said the next steps were to ensure local representatives were heard when discussing options for investment in the road network and to get working on a plan as soon as possible.

He said real leadership was also needed when it came to future port potential.