May 19, 2013

2013 Budget: Real money for real projects in WA

Today I inspected progress on the Perth City Link, a project that is reshaping the heart of the Western Australian capital and a tangible example of this Federal Labor Government’s unprecedented $6.9 billion investment in the State’s road, rail and public transport infrastructure.

City Link also shows what is possible when all three levels of government are prepared to work together and pool resources, with this $360 million project being backed by the Federal and State governments as well as the City of Perth.

What’s more, this is the type of project that will never receive Federal funding if the Liberal and National Parties are elected later this year.  Tony Abbott has made it very clear that the Federal Government should not be in the business of funding urban public transport projects, dismissing traffic congestion as someone else’s problem to fix.

Federal Labor will continue to invest in both road and rail projects.

And even though we have already increased annual infrastructure spending from $154 to $261 per Western Australian, the State’s growing population and future economic prosperity demands that this momentum be maintained.

That’s why in last week’s Federal Budget we begun setting out our priorities going forward.  Amongst the new projects funded and added to our capital works program are priorities identified by the State Government, including:

  • Perth Public Transport Package: Assist deliver the light rail project and/or build a new rail link to the Airport, with the priority and construction timetables to be determined in consultation with the State Government, and subject to an assessment by Infrastructure Australia.
    – Federal contribution: $500 million.
  • Swan Valley Bypass: Build a new road between the Reid Highway/Tonkin Highway intersection and Muchea to replace the Great Northern Highway as the main freight route into and out the City from the north.
    – Federal contribution: $418.3 million.
  • Great Northern Highway: Package of works to improve the section between Muchea and Wubin, including straightening and widening dangerous sections, upgrading existing intersections and constructing additional overtaking lanes.
    – Federal contribution: $307.8 million.
  • North West Coastal Highway: Package of works along the 136 kilometre section between Minilya and Barradale, including strengthening and widening various sections as well as erecting two new bridges.
    – Federal contribution: $174 million.
  • Tonkin Highway: Build three new interchanges at the intersections with Benara Road, Morley Drive and Collier Road to ease congestion and improve freight movements.
    – Federal contribution: $140.6 million.
  • Leach Highway: Upgrade Fremantle’s High Street between Carrington Street and Stirling Highway to a four lane divided road along a new alignment.
    – Federal contribution: $59 million.

That’s real money for real projects that will make a real difference.

From the outset Federal Labor’s mission has been to reverse the neglect we inherited and build the modern, well-planned transport infrastructure which makes working people’s lives easier, our businesses more competitive and the national economy stronger.

Labor has always been the party of nation building.