The federal government has tasked consultancy firm GHD Advisory to develop a strategy for the Princes Hwy and its current and future use.
The “whole of corridor” approach will take in the entire 1941km highway, which stretches from Sydney south to Melbourne and west to Port Augusta in South Australia.
Two representatives from GHD were in Bega on Tuesday speaking to stakeholders including the local council, business chambers, and local transport and economic development sectors.
They also took time out of the busy schedule – hitting up three states in three days – to speak to the three editors of our mastheads that stretch the length of the South Coast, from Nowra to the border.
The FIX IT NOW campaign’s aims and extensive coverage of calls for improved safety and highway upgrades was shared with executive advisor David Rolland and technical director Anne-Marie Kirkman.
In return, South Coast editors Ben Smyth, Kerrie O’Connor and John Hanscombe heard of GHD’s big task ahead, developing a strategy for the Princes Hwy corridor, including economic, social and environmental factors, with the results expected to be delivered by mid-2019.
“Safety on the Princes Hwy is absolutely a key impetus for us,” Ms Kirkman said.
“We haven’t had a conversation yet that didn’t involve safety.
“But it is a complex system and there are other factors we’d love to investigate and see how we can help solve for as well.”
Mr Rolland said while many conversations they are likely to have over coming months will involve issues and constraints, they were just as keen to hear of potential opportunities.
“For every risk or issue, there is potential for opportunity,” Mr Rolland said.
Targeted engagement recently began with federal and state agencies, local government, industry organisations, advocacy groups such as SEATS and peak bodies.
While Ms Kirkman and Mr Rolland said they have not been tasked to engage directly with the general community, they are open to receiving written submissions up until the end of April 2019. These can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“All local councils along the corridor have been invited to engage in the development of the strategy – so we encourage community members to directly share their views with their council,” Ms Kirkman said.
“It’s a whole of corridor approach, but we are also keen to listen and learn and receive information on local and regional issues as well.”
A webpage for the Princes Highway Corridor Strategy is also now available at https://infrastructure.gov.au/roads/princes-highway/.
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