Transport costs and modalities impact upon regional and urban economic sustainability across Australia. Australia has a vast network of natural gas distribution across all states. Rising fuel costs have a negative impact in areas that depend on produce delivery out, and also impacts visitation to these areas.
Government statistics could well be used to correlate vehicle fuel usage across regional Australia in relation to access to alternative fuel availability and alternative mode availability. A simple model could therefore be developed to determine:
-Areas of relative disadvantage and high impact
-Vehicle type usage to determine applicability of alternative fuels
-Logical service modifications to encourage mode shift where applicable
-Transport flows to determine routes and synchronistic refuelling points.
In supplying mode usage rates and fuel intensity rates, transport providors can better identify opportunities and funding agencies can make note of areas that are more or less vulnerable to transport related disadvantage and gear funding for infrastructure requirements accordingly.
Departments of Transport (state and federal) and energy related agencies would foster beneficial transport innovations by a/ making transport related statistics available and b/ develop models which highlight areas of positive advantage pertaining to emerging technologies and modes not available but which are deemed advantageous on the basis of statistics.
As suggested in the economic rationale behind Central Place Theory, logical clustering of community services and commercial services will derive when participants in the community are aware of the locales of available modes best suited to their connectedness to other participants and this information sharing can be fostered by the availability and simple interpretation of these ranges of information.
Such a program in a country with a dispersed population as Australia will reap major long term economic benefits and ensure the positive advantages of service access are known and available to people who are potentially or actually disadvantaged through less than perfect knowledge of, or access to, transport modalities , fuel types and technologies that are becoming increasingly available throughout the world.