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Nairn, Robert J.; Stewart, David
Best Practice in Planning Transport Infrastructure for Regional Australia
Australian Journal of Multi-disciplinary Engineering
Description of Work
Paper presented at the Newcastle Division Regional Convention (2009 : Grafton)
vol. 7, no. 2, Engineers Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2009, pp. 225-233

Includes the history of Environmental Planning and Assessment


In the mid 1990s, regional organisations were taking an interest in transport as it served regional economies. The Northern Rivers regional economic development unit in 1995 commissioned a study of the economic and other benefits from rapid upgrading the Summerland Way. This paper reviews that work, examines the outcome from it and considers the broad appraisal process for transport infrastructure. The work used techniques developed by one of the authors from several decades of examining regional economies from the transportation viewpoint. The aim of the various state environmental planning and assessment acts of the 1970s and 1980s was to provide for a broader view to be taken of development and its consequences, and to give a voice to the various interests in the outcome. Although the environmental assessment process has generally served the community well for several decades, the process would appear to be out of control, in terms of properly reflecting community views, in terms of cost and time, and in terms of public credibility with the outcome. This paper uses the Summerland Way studies to review the place of the environmental assessment process, and examines ways to reduce the time to assess the environmental acceptability of infrastructure development proposals. Several other regional road corridors are also commented on as illustrations of the process.