A TRANSPORT infrastructure investment program of $1.6bn in the Tasmanian state budget has been welcomed by the Australian Logistics Council.
The budget is being handed down this week, with Treasurer Peter Gutwein talking of sandbagging an economy in light of difficult world conditions..
In a statement, ALC chief executive said this investment would help overcome challenges in managing the state’s growing freight task.
“Tasmania faces a unique set of freight logistics challenges as an island state,” ALC chief executive Kirk Coningham said.
“Improving the efficiency and safety of its supply chains will be essential to lock-in the economic gains of recent years and accommodate the freight demands of a growing population,” he said.
“ALC particularly welcomes the investment this budget makes in enhancing road and bridge infrastructure.”
Mr Coningham said the provision of $294m for the new Bridgewater Bridge was especially important.
“It is difficult to remain globally competitive when a major freight route relies on a bridge constructed in 1946 that permits only one lane of low-speed traffic in each direction,” he said.
The ALC also highlighted the budget’s commitment to the state’s rail infrastructure, which will promote greater use of freight rail in Tasmania, delivering benefits for the wider community in terms of safety and the prevention of road congestion.
“As Australia moves towards the finalisation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy this year, the freight infrastructure investments Tasmania has announced today will promote freight efficiency, improve road safety and make Tasmanian producers more internationally competitive,”Mr Coningham said.