Advisory Panel endorses PAIR research on South Sulawesi railway for policy making
The Australia Indonesia Centre’s senior advisory group has given enthusiastic support to the work and findings of the transportation team.
The advisory board has heard directly from the transportation, logistics, and supply chain research team on their findings to date, considering it as a comprehensive and mature scientific process.
The fifth meeting of the PAIR research advisory panel (RAP) on March 17, 2022 was attended by members who are influential figures from central and provincial governments, as well as from the business, industry and NGO sectors. The chairman of RAP, who is also the elected Chancellor of Hasanuddin University, Professor Jamaluddin Jompa, chaired this meeting.
The PAIR research team who studied the construction of new railway infrastructure in South Sulawesi had the opportunity to present the initial findings of their major project to all RAP members. They have conducted a field study to learn how the Makassar to Parepare railway has the potential to be transformative and provide broad benefits to the people of South Sulawesi. The findings include the calculation of travel time with single-track, analysis of intermodal transportation schemes, and comparison of demand between passenger trains and freight trains.
“It would be a shame if this good study was not presented in front of the Minister of Transportation.” said Professor Wihana Kirana Jaya, Special Staff for Economic Affairs and Transportation Investment, Indonesian Ministry of Transportation.
“This study will convince the Ministry of Transportation and related agencies, such as PT KAI, Pelindo, and bus terminal managers in making decisions for effective intermodal transportation in South Sulawesi,” he continued.
According to Professor Wihana, the government is aware that there are still bottlenecks in the construction of new railway lines in South Sulawesi, so this study will be very highly useful in evaluating the best policy.
“It is very important to conduct research advocacy before the train operates so that it can provide evidence that helps policy making,” said Professor Jamaluddin Jompa, Chair of the PAIR Research Advisory Council.
The Australian Consul General in Makassar, Bronwyn Robbins, also advocated for the research to be given an impact through a meeting with the government at the national level.
“There is tremendous potential for economic development in South Sulawesi and this research is a part that contributes to that economic development.” said Bronwyn Robbins.
The construction of the Makassar-Parepare railway has the potential to increase the transportation of key commodities in South Sulawesi to reach new markets quickly, such as seaweed. Seaweed from South Sulawesi has the potential to increase the volume of transportation to the capital of the archipelago in Kalimantan.
“Transportation flows are currently focused on Sulawesi-Kalimantan by sea. The option of transporting by rail will increase the economic growth for seaweed farmers and entrepreneurs,” said Sani Azis, Coordinator of the Indonesian Seaweed Association in South Sulawesi.
The RAP meeting has been taking place since 2020 and brings together stakeholders with PAIR researchers. Researchers have the opportunity to present their research progress and seek direction from RAP members. This is done to ensure that the PAIR research carried out has the potential to be adopted in policy.
“It is very important for RAP members to ensure that the output produced by the PAIR research team can be implemented in policy,” said Bronwyn Robbins.
The Makassar-Parepare railway line is expected to be a success story for infrastructure development with a cooperation scheme involving the private sector (Public Private Partnership).
It is hoped that PAIR’s research will contribute to this achievement.