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A new way to look at traffic flows and freight handling

Australia was initially settled in a very challenging location, in Sydney, New South Wales.  The prime consideration was the availability of water.  Next was some arable land and the ability to produce some food from the land.  When other colonies were established, they were developed with the same criteria.  Water and arable land.  However, they weren’t thinking two hundred years into the future, of how to transport good and cargo and people between the colonies – at that stage, a ship was one travel method, a bullock wagon was the other, unless walking or riding a horse was possible.


However, it IS two hundred years and twenty million people later.  We have a vast country, larger than the original settlers could have envisaged.  However, we have huge populations crammed into little areas between the sea and a mountain range close by.  The mountain range in question, the Great Dividing Range, runs along the East coast of the country and effectively separates the arable land from the narrow coastal strip where we first settled the country.  Our populations have grown up around those initial landing sites, despite the limitations of the terrain and topography.  The Great Dividing Range imposes restrictions and challenges to transport and communication that could not have been imagined in those early days.


It’s time to rethink the whole situation.


We have airports being extended into the ocean, and freight terminals at the bottom of mountains.  We have road and rail transport travelling up over mountains to the rural countryside, then down over the mountain range further away, passing through a city where it doesn’t necessarily stop, to climb out again en route to the next destination, back out over the range again to yet another location.  We have passengers arriving in our cities, into crowded airports that deal with domestic and international passengers, as well as domestic and international freight.  Somewhere, a distance away, a railway terminal has trains passing through from all over the country, much of it continues, some of it stays locally.


What if, instead of adding to the crowds and congestion, we developed a few, regional international terminals where the largest passenger and cargo jets or military transports could land without traffic or curfew restrictions, in regions with rarely a storm or fog, and where the infrastructure necessary could easily be developed.


The suggestion is that regional cities such as Dubbo and or Toowoomba could become international airports and freight terminals, so that the vast open spaces could be utilised, services decentralised, and traffic and transport services to other areas specialised and made efficient.


If Dubbo was a traffic hub, with an international airport, a railhead and a road transport hub, linking with another at Toowoomba, Townsville, Broome and Adelaide, this would enable:

  1. A total customs and quarantine environment – able to be totally isolated until clearance was obtained.
  2. Bulk passenger arrivals from international destinations, with a parallel domestic service delivering passengers in smaller, quieter aircraft specifically to the destinations they wanted to reach without congesting those destinations.
  3. Freight to be despatched between road and rail services in freight terminals that could be built and expanded as required without being cramped for room.
  4. Specific freight deliveries to capital cities without the need to travel up and down mountain ranges more than necessary.
  5. Significant fuel savings with specialised long distance freight vehicles, and more direct transport routes.
  6. Decentralisation of services and manufacturing industries away from the major cities, reducing congestion and pressure there.
  7. Pressure being reduced off ports and port services with more precise and specific transport services to and from them.


Should this network develop, freight could travel from Melbourne to Townsville without going through Brisbane or Sydney.  Passengers on flights from Europe could arrive at any hour in Dubbo, Broome or Toowoomba, and either stay locally or fly on a smaller commuter flight directly to anywhere in Australia.  Infrastructure development would precipitate great decentralisation of services and population to the regional areas, and begin to restore the city/country balance.


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