May 12, 2009

Budget provides historic investment in rail

Budget provides historic investment in rail

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 12 2009

The 2009-10 Budget delivers the most sweeping investment in rail in generations.

The Budget marks an historic change, with the Rudd Labor Government becoming the first ever national government to invest significantly in the passenger rail infrastructure within our cities.

All up, we plan to invest $7.9 billion over six years (2008-09 – 2013-14) improving and expanding the nation’s passenger and freight rail infrastructure.

A competitive, safe and reliable rail network – both within and between our major urban communities – will be critical to lifting national productivity, curbing the escalating cost of traffic congestion and tackling climate change by contributing to reducing carbon pollution.

RAIL INITIATIVES IN OUR MAJOR CITIES

As one of the most urbanised nations in the world, Australia’s future economic success will largely depend on having sustainable, well-planned and productive cities.

Better urban infrastructure, particularly with respect to public transport, will be crucial to achieving this outcome. Without this type of investment, the cost of traffic congestion will more than double to $20 billion by 2020.

Building Australia Fund

The Building Australia Fund was established by the Government last year to provide an additional means of investing in major infrastructure projects.

The projects receiving funding as part of the 2009-10 Budget have been assessed and recommended by Infrastructure Australia. They are:

  • Regional Rail Express in Victoria: construction is expected to commence in 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2014. Total Federal investment will be $3.2 billion.
  • Gawler Rail Line Modernisation in South Australia: construction is expected to commence in 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2013. Total Federal investment will be $293.5 million.
  • Noarlunga to Seaford Rail Extension in South Australia: construction is expected to commence in 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2013. Total Federal investment will be $291.2 million.
  • Gold Coast Light Rail in Queensland: construction is expected to commence in 2011 and is scheduled for completion in 2013. Total Federal investment will be $365.0 million.
  • East-West Rail Tunnel – Preconstruction Work in Victoria: construction is expected to commence in 2012 and is scheduled for completion in 2018. Total Federal investment will be $40.0 million.
  • West Metro – Preconstruction Work in NSW: $91.0 million to undertake detailed planning and environmental assessments. This will allow the project to be put out to tender in 2010.

The total value of these rail projects is $4.3 billion.

Additional urban rail projects

As well as the projects being financed from the Building Australia Fund, the 2009-10 Budget will fund three further urban rail projects:

  • Northbridge Rail Link (the Hub): tenders for the project are expected to be finalised in 2009, with construction completed by 2014. Total Federal investment will be $236.0 million.
  • O-Bahn Track Extension: construction is expected to commence in late 2009 and is scheduled for completion in late 2011. Total Federal investment will be $61.0 million.
  • Brisbane Inner City Rail Feasibility Study: $20.0 million to undertake a feasibility study to determine potential route alignment, construction timetables and preferred funding model.

NATION BUILDING PROGRAM

These projects build on the rail commitments being delivered under our existing $26.7 billion Nation Building Program, with work to start on the following projects within the next 12 months:

  • Rail access improvements at Port Botany in New South Wales: construction is expected to commence in 2009 and is scheduled for completion in 2013. Total Federal investment will be $150 million.
  • Rail upgrades at Geelong Port in Victoria: construction is expected to commence in 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2011. Total Federal investment will be $50 million.
  • Rail capacity improvements at Rhyndaston in Tasmania: construction is expected to commence in 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2012. Total Federal investment will be $24 million.
  • Capacity improvements on the Main North-South rail line in Tasmania: construction is expected to commence in 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2012. Total Federal investment will be $31.6 million.

Separately, in the coming financial year the Government will pay the majority of its $1.2 billion capital injection in the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). This transaction was part of the December stimulus package, with the funds being used to upgrade the Hunter’s coal export chain as well as other key sections of the interstate rail network.

With the support and investment we’re providing over coming years, this century is shaping up to be another ‘golden age’ for rail.

Together, our much greater investment in road and rail will lift the economy’s capacity constraints and ensure Australia emerges from the global recession in a strong position. Our aim is to build a truly national and integrated transport system.