Open Cut » General
An effective transport network is essential to both ongoing growth of the resources sector, as well as to the sustainability of the regions that host resource development activity. For mining companies, modern and efficient transport infrastructure is necessary in order to move its product from mine to market; to enable easy, safe and effective employee access; and to provide for the non-coal freight supply to both construction and operations activities. However, whilst extensive datasets are available to inform future planning, expansions and upgrades for coal freight systems, much less information is available to support decision-making around workforce and non-coal freight movements within regional transport networks. This can result in inefficiencies and potentially costly delays or interruptions to construction, maintenance and operations activities. Regional communities can also be negatively impacted through poor transport conditions and pressures on small businesses. These problems are often magnified where multiple resource sector operations are located in close proximity, and where development occurs rapidly.
This research aimed to identify the key issues for regional transport systems (air and road) arising from the cumulative impacts of resource sector growth, using a case study focus on the northern Bowen Basin region in central Queensland. Specifically, this included:
· Identifying and reporting on the cumulative impacts of resource sector development on road and air transport systems within Central Queensland;
· Identifying the potential strategic responses to these challenges, especially those based on collaborative and innovative solutions involving consultation with key stakeholder groups and the community; and
· Modelling the likely outcomes of different options and future scenarios based on the above information.
The project was based on an approach using whole-of-region stakeholder consultation to focus on finding strategic solutions to emerging transport issues, from the perspectives of resource industries, as well as other business sectors and the communities themselves.