May 12, 2009

Federal road investment program steps up a gear

Federal road investment program steps up a gear

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 Rudd Labor Government is undertaking the biggest road investment program in the nation’s history, with the 2009-10 Budget allocating $3.4 billion in new money.

All up, we will invest $28 billion over six years (2008-09 – 2013-14) in both major and minor road projects around the country.

Funding for this investment program comes from the Building Australia Fund and the existing Nation Building Program.

Through our first Budget we started building a national road network equal to the needs of the 21st century – one that reduces travel times, improves mobility and lifts productivity. This Budget accelerates this program of modernisation, delivering both immediate and lasting benefits for the Australian economy.

A key feature of our record investment program is $12 billion to upgrade Australia’s key road freight route – Network 1 (N1) – which stretches from Melbourne to Cairns. Work will soon start along key sections of the Pacific, Bruce and Hume highways as well as key feeder roads.

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:

  • Hunter Expressway in New South Wales: construction is expected to commence in 2010 and is scheduled for completion by 2013. Total Federal investment will be $1.5 billion.
  • Pacific Highway – Kempsey Bypass in New South Wales: construction is expected to commence in 2010 and is scheduled for completion by 2014. Total Federal investment will be $618.0 million bringing our overall commitment to the Pacific Highway to $3.1 billion.
  • Ipswich Motorway (Additional Work) in Queensland: construction commenced in 2009 and is scheduled for completion by 2012. Total Federal investment will be $884.0 million bringing our overall commitment to the Ipswich Motorway to over $2.5 billion.

NATION BUILDING PROGRAM

In addition to the new major projects being financed from the Building Australia Fund, work will start in 2009-10 on the following projects being delivered under the existing $26.7 billion Nation Building Program, including:

  • Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra (Section B) Duplication in Queensland: construction is expected to commence in 2009 and is scheduled for completion by 2012. Total Federal investment will be $488.0 million – this is in addition to the $200 million we have already commited toward the Cooroy to Curra section.
  • Douglas Arterial duplication in Townsville, Queensland: construction is expected to commence in 2009 and is scheduled for completion by 2012. Total Federal investment will be $55 million.
  • Traralgon to Sale duplication in Victoria – construction is expected to commence in 2009 and is scheduled for completion by 2014. Total Federal investment will be $140 million.
  • Mandurah Entrance Road in Perth, West Australia: construction is expected to commence in 2009 and is scheduled for completion by 2010. Total Federal investment will be $65 million.
  • Banora Point upgrade on the Pacific Highway in New South Wales: construction is expected to commence in 2009 and is scheduled for completion by 2012. Total Federal investment will be $210 million.
  • Tarcutta Bypass on the Hume Highway in New South Wales: scheduled to start in 2009 and to finish in 2011. Total Federal investment will be $225 million.

The Program will also fund initiatives designed to improve road safety:

  • $119.5 million to eliminate 439 dangerous black spots on local roads – double last year’s allocation;
  • $100 million to continue to install boom gates and other safety measures at 292 high risk level crossings – double last year’s allocation; and
  • $20 million to address the lack of safe, modern roadside facilities for truck drivers, including new and refurbished rest stops, parking bays and decoupling areas.

Councils will receive a record annual allocation of $940 million from the Program to help them maintain and upgrade the 657,000 kilometres of road under their control.

As well as putting in place the modern, well-planned road infrastructure vital to Australia’s long term prosperity, our record road investment program will support jobs and provide an immediate stimulus to local economies.

Importantly, it will also complement the much greater investment we are making in rail, with the aim of building a single, truly integrated transport system.

The Rudd Labor Government is preparing Australia for an even more global and mobile world. We understand that well designed transport infrastructure contributes to higher productivity and rising living standards.

That’s why we are investing so much with such urgency.