The Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) established in 1914 is Victoria's oldest community organization for the advocacy of urban and rural planning.



Dear Sir/Madam,







            With a time frame for comment of less than two months and spread over the Christmas summer holiday season it was not possible to gain full TCPA committee feedback on this submission.  However it has been given executive review and the TCPA submission is attached.  We would appreciate contact should you seek additional supporting data or explanation.

Yours sincerely,



Horst (Oz). Kayak

Vice President








1 Background

2 Report Structure

3 The Strategic Infrastructure Issue of Public and Personal Health.

4 The Burden of Disease (BoD) 

5 0 Describing Freight Activity

5.1 Freight Activity Changes in History.

5.2 The Ports and Freight Generators

5.3 Measuring the Freight Task

6 Multi-level use of transport corridors

7 State Legislation

8 Francis Street 

9 Recommendations

1 Background

The Australian Government, Department of Transport and Regional Services (DoTRS) currently seeks stakeholder input to six draft corridor strategies.  This report reviews one of the six strategies, namely the draft Melbourne Urban Corridor Strategy.

2 Report Structure

This brief report reflects the values of many of the members of the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and concentrates on public health..  The TCPA membership is well informed on issues integrating land use and transportation in policy and planning.  Though TCPA membership includes professionals and public servants, the TCPA is not aligned with any professional or political group. This report to DoTRS focuses on freight past front fences in residential zones and the consequential increase in the burden of disease (BoD).

This submission to DoTRS is written to serve as a bulletin to our general membership and is posted on the TCPA site (

3 The Strategic Infrastructure Issue of Public and Personal Health

Determining the value to society of various outcomes from public policy and planning is open to a wide range of interpretation.  One component of measuring the well being of a community is by public health parameters.  Most negative influences from the transport sector on public and personal health are well measured.  The positive economic impact of the transport sector is well modeled and accepted.

One possible reason is that the value framework within which transport planners make decisions is unclear on measuring public health impact.  For example transport planners often speak about noise levels, but seldom speak about the quantifiable health impact from noise induced sleep level reduction. 

The epidemiological trends of public and personal health that are a function of transport sector activity need to be better modeled and included as a key chapter in the draft Melbourne Urban Corridor Strategy.

State and Commonwealth legislation is required to ensure corridor choices must include public health impact statements.  Exposure metrics, is one possible scientific tool that could be applied.

4 The Burden of Disease (BoD)

Significant evidence exists that emission and noise pollution from road freight increase the burden of disease.  The impact ranges from sleep quality reduction, a subjective health factor to the unambiguous heightened risks of cancer from diesel.  Transport corridors through residential zones can only contribute to increasing public and private health costs.

The corridor evaluations and management details discussed in the report should quantify improvements in the DALY factor of abutting corridor communities.  The WHO describes the DALY measurement as follows:

“The 1993 World Development Report (WDR), "Investing in Health," used the Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY) to measure the state of health of a population and, together with the concept of cost-effectiveness, to judge which interventions to improve health deserve the highest priority for action. The Disability Adjusted Life Year is the only quantitative indicator of burden of disease that reflects the total amount of healthy life lost, to all causes, whether from premature mortality or from some degree of disability during a period of time.” 

The DHS in Victoria also uses the DALY measurement to evaluate compare the well being of communities. 


5 0 Describing Freight Activity

Freight activity is a totally derived demand.  The links and nodes in the freight network are mathematically definable with a high level of confidence.  The flow of freight in the network can not generally be defined with the same level of accuracy. 

Many of the examples used to describe the size of freight activity are abstract and obscure.  Discussion in the DoTRS report needs to be in a language that the wider affected community can picture.

5.1 Freight Activity Changes in History

In picturing changes in freight activity a historic perspective is illustrative of major changes already achieved in the MSD over the last 100 years. Most household sewerage, previously transported by “night cart” is now transported through underground pipes. Clean water is sourced by pipes, much of our power is sourced through under and above ground conduits.  Gone are the coal and briquette carrying trucks.  Ninety percent of the aircraft fuel to the airports is piped.  The transport of aircraft fuel alone would generate 1000 intra-urban truck movements on an average day.

5.2 The Ports and Freight Generators

Many container ships unload 1,000 forty foot long containers on a visit to the Port of Melbourne.  Port of Melbourne generated freight is only one component of freight activity in urban Melbourne.  Freight movements in the MSD comprise freight between origins and destinations within the MSD, termed intra urban freight, as well as freight :to and from regional destinations outside the MSD.  Inter regional freight includes intercity freight to state capitals such as Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. These are all termed intercity freight activity. 

Intra-city freight includes movement between:

            road freight depots and other urban destinations

ship side and urban destinations

rail heads, industry and retailers

warehouse and retailer

            manufacturer and retailer

            bulk tank storage, pipeline outlets and retail fuel outlets

            component supplier and assembler

            raw material supplier and manufacturer

            supplier and construction site

5.3 Measuring the Freight Task

Variables to measure freight activity include:

TEUs, twenty foot equivalent units;

tons of freight transported;

volume of freight carried;

distance that freight vehicles, which are sometimes empty or partially loaded, travel;

transport vehicle categories and number; and,

the value of the freight carried.

To picture the intensity of freight activity, the reader can start with the reference point of one 20 ton container truck, usually with the load length, 6.1 meters (20 feet.  The truck’s container is termed the TEU or twenty foot equivalent unit.  ). A single TEU carrying vehicle need not necessarily be articulated.  By comparison the articulated Safeway or Coles delivery lorry to the store is 40 foot long.  Which makes the Supermarket truck similar to two TEUs.  Practical considerations limit loads to 17,500 kg for a 20 foot container and 24,500 kg for a 40 foot container.

Page 14 states “The Port of Melbourne is estimated to have an ultimate physical capacity to handle 7 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) of freight per annum, if world best practice in cargo and freight handling is adopted, more intensive use is made of Webb Dock, and all operational bottlenecks (including road/rail access on the landside) can be removed. Currently, the Port has a throughput of around 2 million TEU per annum. The Dynon-Port precinct is a hub for road, sea and rail freight and is Melbourne’s key freight handling centre. Growth in sea trade and intra-urban freight movements will place increasing capacity pressures on the Dynon-Port precinct. “

The reader should try and imagine what the landside of more than 4000 additional trucks a day through Melbourne harbour side suburbs might look like….Serious thought needs to be given to use of expanding additional ports such as Western Port (or interstate ports such as Adelaide to handle MSD demands).

6 Multi-level use of transport corridors

Melbourne has a successful history of bellow and above ground traffic handling, including parking and delivery points. 

1) Examples of mixed “commercial” development include:

            Melbourne Central


            Federation Square

            Box Hill Station

These projects would also be considered successful “public-private partnerships”

2) Several examples of building over and under public space (road and rail reserves) include:

            MCC over Brunton Avenue

            Como Development over the Chapel Street footpath to allow for turning traffic into Toorak Road

            Southland over Nepean Highway at Patterson

            Crown Casino over Kingsway on Southbank

            Usable dining area balconies over footways on Elizabeth and Swanston Streets

            The Banana Vaults on Flinders Street

3) Deep underground construction of transport routes include:


            CityLink under public open space on the Yarra River

            Sewerage and water conduits

7 State Legislation

The planning act requires amendment by parliament that gives more power to LGAs to control the environmental impact from and facilitate rationalization of container depots to lowers their traffic generation impact on local communities leading to loss of amenity.

8 Francis Street

Francis Street is a special link in the transport network and requires extra government attention and intervention.  How much of the current freight task needs to travel along Francis Street?  Streaming site videos clearly show that curfew breakers exceed any local O-D modelling.  The analysis is also a demonstration that some carriers in the freight industry have a casual attitude to curfew compliance when close to feeder roads to freeway ramps.

9 Recommendations

The TCPA supports the accommodation of an additional MSD population of 1 million within existing planning boundaries.  With the Victorian Government aim that 40 to 60% of the population increase be housed by urban consolidation, the value of surface area available for transportation and people based activities is at a premium.  Particularly in the inner suburbs of Melbourne.  The TCPA suggests the draft corridor strategy report be edited to:

1)   quantify the BoD from transport using DALY measurements to compare impact of various transport corridor scenarios;

2)    investigate various underground and multi-layer transport and land use layouts to increase the intensity and mix of activity at some locations; and,

3)   introduce analytical tools such as exposure metrics to model the impacts of various staging of transport infrastructure development sequences.