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Premier cool on need for transport and infrastructure plans

Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Author: Liam Mannix, Indaily

TRANSPORT and infrastructure minister Pat Conlon will retire from his portfolio without having put in place key transport or infrastructure plans - but the Premier says the documents aren't important.

The state's Strategic Infrastructure Plan was written eight years ago. The process to update it closed to public consultation in February 2010. Since then no new plan has been released.

The government does not have a dedicated transport plan, despite calls for one from the Royal Automobile Association and former Integrated Design Commissioner Tim Horton.

At yesterday's press conference called to discuss Conlon and Health Minister John Hill's retirement, Weatherill said updating the strategic infrastructure plan wasn't of key importance.

"We've had a very important plan, which essentially frames up our infrastructure spending, which is the 30-year plan," he said.

"Sure, we work on other subsidiary documents, but I wouldn't get too caught up with particular documents in the context of our strategic planning process."

The 30-year plan, essentially a technical document used by the government for land-use planning, states it is designed to be read in conjunction with the strategic infrastructure plan.

On transport, Weatherill rejected the need for a singular written strategy.

"I've seen a transport strategy outlined by Minister Conlon throughout his tenure as Transport Minister," Weatherill said.

When the RAA's call for a strategy was put to him by journalists at the press conference, Weatherill responded: "Well, some people are harder to please than others".

"We have an excellent plan for the rejuvenation of our public transport network, its electrification.

"I think the truth is when you look carefully at the asks of these organisations, that's precisely what they've asked us to do and that's what we've been working away at.

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