The 2013–14 Budget not only continues the rollout of the Federal Labor Government’s current multi–billion dollar capital works program, it also begins identifying the major projects to be funded as part of the next Nation Building Program, which will commence in July 2014.
We are both building and planning for Western Australia’s future.
Accordingly, after consulting with the State Government and Infrastructure Australia, we are now in a position to release a preliminary schedule of new projects to be funded and delivered over the five year life of our next Nation Building Program (2014–15 to 2018–19).
- Tonkin Highway: Three grade separations of intersections at Benara Road, Morley Drive and Collier Road to improve freight movements along the Tonkin Highway.
- Federal contribution: $140.6 million.
- Leach Highway: The upgrade of High Street in Fremantle between Carrington Street and Stirling Highway to a four lane divided road on a new alignment.
- Federal contribution: $59.0 million.
- Perth Public Transport Package: Funding for future rail infrastructure in Perth, including work on Perth Light Rail Project or the Airport Link. Priorities and construction timetables will be determined in consultation with the WA Government.
- Federal contribution: $500.0 million over ten years.
- Great Northern Highway: A package of works to be undertaken along approximately 87 kilometre section of the Great Northern Highway between Muchea and Wubin, including realignment of sections of the highway, intersection upgrades, road widening and construction of additional overtaking lanes.
- Federal contribution: $307.8 million.
- North West Coastal Highway: A package of upgrades over 136 kilometres of the North West Coastal Highway between Minilya and Barradale, include widening and strengthening works, as well as the construction of two new bridges.
- Federal contribution: $174.0 million.
- Swan Valley Bypass: The construction of the Swan Valley Bypass, a new highway from the Reid Highway and Tonkin Highway intersection to Muchea. The highway will be 40 kilometres long, with dual carriageway for 15 kilometres and single carriageway for 25 kilometres.
- Federal contribution: $418.3 million, with $25.3 million brought forward to kick–start the project.
Importantly, this does not represent the totality of our next program, with more projects likely to be added in the period ahead. Nonetheless, their addition to this Federal Labor Government’s ongoing capital works program takes our investment in the State’s road, rail and public transport infrastructure to an unprecedented $6.9 billion.
As well as setting the agenda for the future, the 2013–14 Budget also provides the final annual instalment of $623.0 million for our current Nation Building Program (2008–09 to 2013–14), which almost doubled annual infrastructure spending from $154 to $261 per Western Australian.
This year’s funding allocation will enable work to be completed on the following major projects:
- Re-routing the Great Northern Highway to the north of Port Hedland’s Wedgefield industrial estate.
- Federal contribution: $191.2 million.
- Untangling rail and road access to Esperance Port including replacing two existing level crossing with overpasses.
- Federal contribution: $60.0 million.
- Construction of a new southbound on ramp from Abernethy Road onto the Tonkin Highway, part of the first stage of the $1.0 billion Gateway WA project.
- Federal contribution: $7.6 million.
- Sinking the railway line through Perth’s CBD, a central component of the visionary Perth City Link project which will reunite the City’s retail district with the Northbridge entertainment precinct.
- Federal Contribution: $236.0 million.
Over the coming 12 months work will also continue on a range of projects, including:
- Gateway WA project, a major upgrade of the roads around Perth Airport, including widening the Tonkin Highway from four to six lanes and building new interchanges along the Highway, with work starting this year on:
- A freeway–to–freeway interchange at the Tonkin and Leach Highways intersection, with free flowing movements in all directions, and includes a major new access to the international terminal.
- An interchange at the Tonkin Highway, Horrie Miller Drive and Kewdale Road intersection, removing one of Perth’s worst black spots.
- An interchange at the Leach Highway and Abernethy Road intersection.
- Federal contribution: part of a $686.4 million package.
- Straightening and widening the Great Northern Highway along the notorious Bindi Bindi section.
- Federal contribution $32.0 million.
- Rerailing the line between Koolyanobbing and Kalgoorlie as well as constructing a new 1,800 metre passing loop.
- Federal contribution: $60.0 million.
- Restoring and upgrading of Western Australia’s Grain Rail Network.
- Federal contribution: $135.0 million.
The 2013–14 Budget continues funding for a range of initiatives which improve the State’s local roads and make them safer:
- $7.5 million to eliminate another 36 dangerous black spots;
- $161.4 million to assist councils across the State to maintain and upgrade their local roads; and
- $3.7 million to provide 13 new or upgraded rest areas, 1 upgraded decoupling bay and 1 road upgrade to improve access for heavy vehicle drivers and livestock transporters.
From the outset Federal Labor’s mission has been to reverse the neglect we inherited and invest in the modern, well–planned infrastructure that will make working people’s lives easier, our businesses more competitive and the national economy stronger.
We know there’s more to be done. But this Government is making the right decisions for the nation’s future and across the length and breadth of Western Australia, building the infrastructure which will stand the test of time.
This Budget keeps our economy strong and ready for the future by making the smart investments in infrastructure. We are investing for the future, putting jobs and economic growth first and protecting the important services that Australians rely on.
We’re doing this to keep our economy one of the most resilient in the world—we have low unemployment, solid growth, contained inflation and low interest rates.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.