Minimising the impact of freight movements on the community against a backdrop of economic growth.
The recommended actions for addressing Challenge 2 are summarised in Table 6-2.
Table 6-2 Recommended Actions to address Challenge 2
||Work with VicRoads to finalise the draft Network Operating Plans, prioritising central Geelong, followed by the remainder of the municipality.
||Monitor and assess the results of the truck restriction trial in central Geelong (Malop and Mercer Streets).
||Improve monitoring systems to better understand the link between industry changes and changes to freight movements, and the ways this is impacting road network operations.
||After adopting the Network Operating Plans, work with VicRoads to produce a prioritised road infrastructure plan to upgrade freight routes and accommodate freight movements, including High Productivity Freight Vehicles (HPFVs).
||Identify the safety and amenity concerns held by residents in Geelong’s northern suburbs in relation to freight movements.
||Undertake a review of all the municipality’s freight-generating land uses to understand opportunities for consolidating these land uses where possible.
||Work with Government to address any barriers associated with implementing freight strategies outlined in the Victoria Freight and Logistics Plan.
||Work with the Geelong Port and Government to address any key infrastructure barriers (planning and/or policy), towards recommendations for improvements to the Geelong Port.
||Further investigate options for improving travel time reliability to Melbourne Airport from Geelong for freight, car and public transport trips.
||Work with Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) and Public Transport Victoria (PTV) to progress the Avalon Airport Rail Link study.
||Work with DEDJTR to further investigate construction of a dual gauge rail line from Lascelles Wharf in Geelong Port that connects with the standard and broad gauge rail networks running north to Melbourne
and west to Western Victoria and Adelaide.
The City of Greater Geelong is committed to delivering an effective transport system that reflects the key themes of this plan. This includes encouraging people to consider travel modes other than the private vehicle, such as walking, cycling and public transport use.
Adopting Network Operating Plans across the City of Greater Geelong will create the opportunity for better focused investment of limited road network funding that is more strategically aligned to a plan or hierarchy. Communicating the hierarchy to the community through various media and information sources, will help people understand why future transport decisions are made, and how particular routes prioritise particular modes.
The major gateways to Geelong include the Avalon Airport and Geelong Port. Both have a strategic importance to the local and regional economy. Council will play a key role in working with the Avalon Airport and Geelong Port to facilitate development and access, while it balances the associated impacts of these land use operations on their local communities.
Many of the recommended actions that address Challenge 2 rely on external support from state and federal government as well as private organisations. Council will actively engage with external organisations to remove any barriers to future development, in accordance with adopted plans and strategies.
Below is a summary of the recommended actions to address the challenge of minimising the impact of freight movements on the community against a backdrop of economic growth.
Action 2a – Work with VicRoads to finalise the Network Operating Plans, with a focus on central Geelong
Network Operating Plans (NOPs) establish a framework for prioritising each transport mode present in the network. Network Operating Plans include:
NOPs should be developed for central Geelong as a priority, followed by the remainder of the municipality. It is critical that the NOPs are finalised and adopted by VicRoads and Council as they will provide a framework for future transport decisions outlined as part of the Plan.
Action 2b – Monitor and assess the results of the truck restriction trial
In 2014, Council conducted a six month trial whereby it banned truck ‘through movements’ on Malop and Mercer Streets in central Geelong. The trial aimed to improve the central activity area’s amenity. Only trucks with a gross vehicle mass of more than 4.5 tonnes were banned, with exemptions for those undertaking deliveries or pickups in the area.
Monitoring and assessing this trial is vital to understanding the impacts of banning truck ‘through movements’ on these routes. Other east-west routes were also surveyed to understand how the trucks from Malop and Mercer Streets travel through the network, and the impact this is having on alternative east-west routes.
Monitoring and assessment is needed to ensure that future truck restrictions are evidence-based, and to help better understand the impacts of bans on the
Action 2c – Improve monitoring systems to better understand changes to freight movements
Geelong’s economy is currently undergoing a shift away from traditional manufacturing. This shift is changing the city’s freight task, altering freight origins and destinations.
The City of Greater Geelong in close consultation with VicRoads should improve its monitoring systems to understand freight demand changes and travel patterns and to ensure road network and freight demands are managed appropriately to develop and maintain the freight network.
This action aligns with the Victorian Freight and Logistics Plan strategy of “working cooperatively with industry and local councils to plan, develop and maintain the Principal Freight Network and important ‘first and last kilometre’ connections to key freight destinations”. Improving understanding of local freight movements and building an evidence base will allow council and VicRoads to plan
and develop the region’s freight network.
Action 2d – Work with VicRoads to produce a prioritised road infrastructure plan to upgrade freight routes
After adopting the Network Operating Plans, Council, in conjunction with VicRoads, will produce a prioritised road infrastructure plan to upgrade freight routes to accommodate freight movements including HPFVs. A plan of prioritised upgrades will help ensure that limited resources are used where most needed, and that the most important improvements are prioritised.
The infrastructure upgrade plan will be a ‘living document’ that adapts to the changing nature of Geelong’s freight task. It should continue to follow the overarching strategy defined in the Network Operating Plans and other supporting documents. It will also reference findings from the truck restriction trials, towards accommodating the increase in truck movements by improving alternative routes. It may also recommend road enhancements on routes where truck movements have reduced, to make them more pedestrian and cycle friendly.
Action 2e – Investigate safety and amenity concerns caused by freight vehicles in the northern suburbs of Geelong
The northern suburbs of Geelong are home to a large number of freight land uses, including Geelong Port, The Geelong Ring Road Employment Precinct, the Ford Engine and Stamping Plants, and the Shell Refinery. These freight land uses generate heavy vehicle traffic, creating amenity issues for some northern suburbs residents.
Residents in the northern suburbs have voiced concerns over the impacts on their safety and amenity caused by the area’s relatively large mode share of trucks. It is important to identify the communities’ concerns so that they are adequately addressed in the strategies implemented. The community concerns should also be investigated to ensure they are supported with evidence, prior to making any recommendations that may impact upon the movement of freight.
The key focus of this action relates to understanding whether or not there is a problem, the extent of any problem, exactly where the problem is, and whether intervention is required and/or justified.
Action 2f – Undertake a review of all freight generating land uses to identify opportunities for consolidation
Over time, commercial decisions have resulted in decentralising industry in the City of Greater Geelong. Many associated transport issues could be mitigated by consolidating freight generating land uses. This review will investigate opportunities to encourage consolidation through land use planning and other incentives.
Encouraging the consolidation of freight generating land uses, can create efficiencies in transport infrastructure investment. In addition, implementing Network Operating Plans in Geelong may also provide a focus on connecting key freight generating land uses. From further investigation, new understandings will reveal opportunities.
Action 2g – Work with Government to address any barriers associated with implementing freight strategies
‘Victoria - The Freight State’ is the freight and logistics plan developed by the State Government, outlining Victoria’s long term vision, strategies and state-wide
actions for freight.
This report sets out the freight plan’s long term objectives and details 65 short term strategies for the period 2013–17. Strategies outlined in the plan will help the development of Geelong’s freight role.
Possible implementation constraints include:
ensuring land use surrounding Avalon Airport maintains curfew-free airport operations, and ensuring an appropriate ‘Airport Environs Overlay’
developing the Geelong Port in a regional context
potential conflict between the state government’s desired Mass Freight Network and maintaining residential amenity
addressing constraints with a “24 hour” freight network, including port accessibility
investigating and implementing ‘buffer zones’ around freight land uses
ensuring that the state-driven freight needs do not eclipse local residential needs.
Action 2h – Work with the Geelong Port and Government to address any key infrastructure barriers from a planning and policy perspective
The Geelong Port is a major freight generator for the region, and a vital part of the region’s economy. Existing port infrastructure, including the depth of the shipping channel, limits port operations.
Council will work with the Geelong Port and Government to address (from a planning and policy perspective) any key infrastructure constraints, so that recommended improvements to the Geelong Port outlined in the 2050 plan, can proceed.
Key Council roles outlined in the Geelong Port - City 2050 plan include:
facilitate discussions between the Geelong Port, and state and federal governments
safeguard through planning schemes in the port’s existing and future land use requirements to allow for sustainable growth
develop sister-city relationships with key port
Action 2i – Investigate ways of improving travel time reliability to Melbourne Airport from Geelong
Melbourne Airport is a major Australian freight node. As well as facilitating passenger travel, it is important to ensure Geelong freight has strong transport links to the Melbourne airport.
The M80 provides the most direct road access from Melbourne Airport and the Princes Freeway to Geelong and is therefore a key transport link for freight and airport passengers between Geelong and the Airport.
The M80 Ring Road Upgrade project includes a series of improvements along the length of the Ring Road. The M80 upgrades are designed to increase the road’s safety and provide more consistent travel time along the route. The effect of these upgrades should be monitored by VicRoads to determine their effectiveness in reducing travel time reliability. It is important that Council receives this information, given the importance of this transport link to Geelong’s economy and community.
Council should also undertake its own investigation to determine issues and opportunities for freight and passenger travel between Geelong and Melbourne Airport. This study should also include analysis of train-based public
transport trips between these two key nodes.
Action 2j – Work with DEDJTR and PTV to progress the Avalon Airport Rail Link Study
The Avalon Airport Rail Link study being managed by the DEDJTR, aims to determine the most appropriate route and alignment for a rail link. The study will identify land required so it can be safeguarded from further development, enabling the rail link to be built when viable to do so. The following key stages have been completed since the study commenced in 2011:
Identification of ideas about, and issues with, the project and its potential impacts
Phase 2 (completed in late 2012) identified the preferred location for the rail link, and developed route alignment options and transport mode options for staged delivery.
Planning and environmental approvals processes are complete.
Further work is now underway to understand various transport options to cater for short- to medium-term demand, and to investigate ways these may operate within a rail corridor, or otherwise.
Council should continue to monitor the progress of the Avalon Airport Rail Link study and work with DEDJTR to reserve the corridor for the rail link.
Action 2k – Work with DEDJTR to investigate a dual gauge rail connection to Geelong Port
Lascelles Wharf is currently not connected to the standard and broad gauge rail networks that extend north to Melbourne and West to Western Victoria and Adelaide. This undermines the efficiency of cargo movements in and out of the Port. It also creates heavy reliance on truck movements, in turn impacting on the environment and on the amenity of surrounding residential areas.
Further investigation is needed to investigate the construction of a dual gauge rail line to provide access to Lascelles Wharf. Geelong Port has already identified a number of rail options at North Shore that may provide a suitable rail link to deep water berthing facilities at Lascelles Wharf.
Constructing the dual gauge rail connection to Lascelles Wharf would enable significantly increased freight volumes at the Port, without the impacting local
residential amenity or the road network.