TRANSPORT PLANS: Proposed transport solutions for the Eyre and West region identified in the state government’s Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan.A POSSIBLE heavy vehicle bypass around Port Lincoln, investigations of rail improvements to support the grain industry, and wider highways with more rest areas are part of the state government’s vision for transport on Eyre Peninsula over the next 30 years.
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An expansion of freight capability to support growth in the mining sector and major upgrades to the region’s highways to support tourism are some of the infrastructure priorities for Eyre Peninsula and Western South Australia included in the state’s Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan released this week.

“There’s no denying the importance of the Eyre Peninsula and Western South Australia to this state’s economy,” Premier Jay Weatherill said.

“Not only are we seeing significant mining and tourism activity in the region, but the area also produces around 30 per cent of the state’s grain harvest and nearly 90 per cent of its seafood.

He said the upgrades proposed in the plan were designed to capitalise on the region’s strengths and make it easier and safer to travel and transport freight across the region.

The plan also looks at investigating freight rail improvements to support grain movement and how to create a direct access link between Whyalla and the main rail corridor near Spencer Junction for trains travelling west.

The plan highlights the importance of the private sector in investing in and operating transport infrastructure in South Australia.

“Much of the expanded capacity needed in our ports, roads and rail links to service the expected increase in mining activity will be possible through private investment.”

Regional passenger transport services would also be improved under the plan, with the state government planning to work closely with councils on the issue.

The government also plans to work with councils on local issues like options for heavy vehicles bypass of towns including Port Lincoln, airport master plans for Port Lincoln Whyalla and Ceduna, and road pedestrian and cycle networks.

The plan is available online at www.transportplan.sa.gov.au and people are encouraged to have their say on the transport infrastructure priorities for their region.

A consultation event will be held in Port Lincoln at the Civic Centre, 60 Tasman Terrace on Thursday, November 21.

Written submissions can be sent to Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan feedback, GPO BOX 1533, Adelaide SA 5001 or email to [email protected] or call 1800 767 254.

Submissions close on Friday, November 29.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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THE Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association has written to the state government opposing the proposal to decrease some 110 kilometres an hour speed limits to 100.
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The letter stated local councils did not support the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s proposal to reduce South Australian roads that are currently 110km to 100km.

In the letter the association’s executive officer Tony Irvine said it was unlikely the 10km change would reduce accidents, as Eyre Peninsula accidents were mostly caused by poor road conditions, lack of overtaking lanes, native vegetation intrusion and cars hitting kangaroos and other native animals.

Mr Irvine said it seemed more like a ploy for the government to raise revenue through speeding fines, and to dodge providing funding for fixing up roads.

He said there were various roads on Eyre Peninsula that were not fit for purpose.

A reduction in speed limit would also add significantly more time to long distance travel such as the 780 kilometre trip from Ceduna to Adelaide, which would add to driver fatigue.

He said local government members and staff travelled up to 50,000km in a year.

Road Safety Minister Michael O’Brien said the department was consulting with stakeholders and consideration would be given to feedback received from councils, the RAA, South Australian Police, the Centre for Automotive Safety Research, the Local Government Association and the Motor Accident Commission.

“Research shows that reducing rural road speed limits can reduce casualty crashes by 20 per cent,” he said.

“Any measures which can save lives and prevent serious injuries should be considered which is why the department is undertaking this review.”

The Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association has written to the state government opposing a speed limit reduction from 110 to 100.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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ONE-SIDED matches dominated Central Wimmera Tennis Association 17 and under A Grade results in the boys and girls draws at the weekend.
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Laharum now tops the ladder in the boys division after a crushing win over Central Park.

Despite their status as reigning premiers of the 17 and under A Grade competition, the Parkers did not win a rubber for the day and never won more than four games in a set.

Laharum’s Jayden McQueen, Joe Harrison, Patrick Easson and Campbell Mason showed they will be a force to be reckoned with in this year’s premiership race.

Horsham Lawn Black also claimed bragging rights over Lawn Yellow with a six-sets-to-two win.

Central Park Pink, Gold and Orange all remain winless in the girls 17 and under A Grade competition.

Haven earned a big 7-44 to 1-23 win over Central Park Gold at home with a 6-2 singles victory by Chloe McRae in the sixth rubber of the day the Parkers’ only set.

Central Park Pink went down to Horsham Lawn and Central Park Orange lost six sets to two against top team and intra-club rival Central Park Purple.

Laharum produced a slender two-game victory over Horsham Lawn Blue in boys 14 and under A Grade competition to slide into second place on the ladder behind Quantong.

Lawn’s Jack Brennan and Leroy Drum tried to salvage a draw in the final rubber of the day but despite a 6-2 win, could not get the game scores even.

Quantong beat Central Park Orange 5-39 to 3-35 and Horsham Lawn Green easily beat Central Park Black in the other matches.

Girls 14 and under A Grade play saw Haven Red take top place on the ladder with a 4-31 to 4-27 win over a dogged Quantong outfit, which is now second.

Quantong only had three available players and were forced to forfeit three rubbers but still almost pulled off a miraculous victory.

In the boys 12 and under A Grade, Haven Red beat Haven Blue 6-36 to 0-11 to sit atop the ladder and Laharum had a tight win against Horsham Lawn.

BATTLING: Horsham Lawn Yellow’s Braden Clark was part of two winning sets for his team, which went down to Horsham Lawn Black in the 17 and under boys A Grade competition. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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One of Ronan’s X Factor finalists, Taylor Henderson. Jai Waetford, 14, is also competing with Ronan as his coach.
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X Factor recap: final three decidedDami Im returns to her former school

Ronan Keating, the longest serving judge and mentor on Seven’s ratings champion The X Factor, may add an additional shock moment to Monday night’s grand finale by announcing his departure from the show after four seasons.

The 36-year-old Irish crooner, who has enjoyed more than two decades of international success as a recording artist, both in the boyband Boyzone and as a solo performer, recently tasted life as a film star in the Australian film Goddess.

In doing so Keating fulfilled a long-held ambition, and it is his cinema aspirations that may force him to leave the hit talent show if he is forced to choose between a new movie project and returning for a fifth season of The X Factor.

“I’ve got an offer for a film in the spring next year in Europe,” Keating told Fairfax on Wednesday. “That’s the conflict I have at the moment, so I’m just trying to make that work.”

Asked whether he might confirm his plans on Monday night’s show, Keating merely suggested “we’ll see”. “We’ll have to wait and see. Wait until I finalise everything.”

Before his incredibly successful X Factor season had even begun, Keating acknowledged the pressure of his expanding work commitments, and his desire to spend more time with his children, aged eight, 12 and 14, as well as his girlfriend, Australian model Storm Uechtritz.

Now he has become a victim of his own success. Keating’s workload has been much higher in comparison to previous seasons on the show, and now in the middle of what he describes as a “mental week” he may have to make a very difficult decision.

“It’s been a really crazy year for me, to be honest, because I’ve been making a Boyzone album in my downtime here in Sydney. And also I have my charity ball. So I haven’t had any time really to relax and enjoy Australia this time, so that’s been pretty hectic.”

He is quick to highlight that his potential exit is no reflection of his experience making The X Factor.

“I love the show,” he enthuses. “I love working with the team, I love the people. I wouldn’t change a thing really.”

For the first time this year Keating is mentoring two of the three grand finalists, which has only added to his workload.

“It’s very difficult,” Keating admits. “You give everything but you’ve got to work with two contestants, not let one feel you’re working harder on the other and vice versa. So you’ve got to give as much as you can to both.

“Then when you’ve got someone as fantastic as Dami [Im] on the other side it’s very difficult. She is definitely the favourite at the moment. So I’m working very, very hard to get one of my boys across the line first.”

Keating has been a mentor on The X Factor since 2010, when he guided Altiyan Childs to win the competition, and is the last remaining judge from the first season on Seven.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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