GIS facilitates regional freight transport plan

Thursday, 24 March, 2016 | Supplied by: Spatial Vision

Eastern Riverina councils needed a solid mapping solution to help cope with the 41 million tonnes of freight passing through the region each year.

The Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC) is a voluntary association of 14 local government bodies, located in the eastern Riverina region of NSW. The members of REROC are the councils of Bland, Coolamon, Cootamundra, Greater Hume, Gundagai, Junee, Lockhart, Temora, Tumbarumba, Tumut, Urana, Wagga Wagga, and the Goldenfields Water and Riverina Water county councils. The REROC region covers an area of some 45,000 km2 and contains some of the state’s most heavily used road and rail transport corridors, including the Hume Highway, the Newell Highway, the Olympic Highway, the Burley Griffin Way and the Main Southern Rail Line.

Most of the 41 million tonnes of freight that is transported between NSW and Victoria each year passes through the REROC region, primarily by road but also by rail. It is estimated that the volume will double by 2031, which will add pressure to regions’ road and rail networks. It will also bring opportunities.

REROC initiated an investigation of the freight infrastructure network to develop an integrated transport solution for the region. The overall aim was to develop a regional approach to transport planning, whereby significant road and rail freight corridors could be mapped and constraints on those corridors identified. The project goals were:

  • Map the transport network of identified freight corridors that facilitate the efficient and effective movement of freight within and through the region.
  • Support the development and implementation of integrated freight transport solutions.
  • Remove identified road constraints within the region by 2021.
  • Support the growth and development of logistics solutions that improve freight movement.
  • Share the outcomes.

Councils in the region have different mapping software (MapInfo and Esri). The challenge for REROC was to find a platform that could bring all the data together, was easy to use and enabled free sharing of the maps to support the Regional Freight Transport Plan. The project was underpinned by online mapping of freight routes, modal points, constraints and pinch points. The online mapping solution was delivered by Spatial Vision using GIS Cloud.

The mapping involves a suite of transport layers, including: modal points for grain, livestock, timber and other; identified strategic routes; constraints on network; and existing routes for B-Doubles and road trains, as well as railways (passenger and freight, freight only, closed lines).

The benefits of using the GIS Cloud solution have included: the ability to brand with REROC logo and name the portal; the ability to switch maps (from transport to industrial, with the ability to add more maps later); embedded Google Street View; the ability to search the database to filter to a suitable industrial lot for a developer; and the ability for the end user to download maps in a variety of GIS packages for their own use.

With the success of the project, REROC has investigated how the mapping could further advance other regional programs, including the development of an Industrial Land layer.

“Spatial Vision and GIS Cloud have been able to provide software and support to help us achieve the ability to get our Regional Mapping Projects into an online mapping environment that can be easily used by the general public,” said REROC’s Daniel Smith.

Image courtesy David Elliott under CC

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