May 13, 2008

Infrastructure Investment of $3.2 Billion drives Australia’s prosperity

Infrastructure Investment of $3.2 Billion drives Australia’s prosperity

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 13 2008

The Rudd Government will invest $3.2 billion in nation-building road and rail projects across the country including over half a billion dollars to make an early start on election commitments.

Urgent action is needed to fix Australia’s over-stretched transport networks and build infrastructure to meet the challenges of the 21st century economy.

That’s why we’re getting a head start on nearly $560 million worth of projects that weren’t due to commence until 2009-10, as well as delivering projects to upgrade interstate transport networks and critical freight corridors.

Highlights of our 2008-09 investment program are:

  • In New South Wales: starting the Ballina and Bulahdelah bypasses on the Pacific Highway, the Great Western Highway between Penrith and Katoomba and the Alstonville bypass in Northern New South Wales;
  • In Victoria: improving capacity on the Westgate Bridge and starting Stage 4A of the Geelong Ring Road;
  •  In Queensland: finishing the Townsville Port Access Road up to two years early and doing further work on the Ipswich Motorway and the Bruce Highway;
  • In Western Australia: $160 million to finish the New Perth-Bunbury Highway as well as planning funds for the Bunbury Port Access Road Stage 1 and the Great Eastern Highway from the Perth CBD to the airport;
  • In South Australia: $118.8 million so the Northern Expressway can finish in 2010 and funds to plan for the Main South Road upgrade;
  •  For local government: $936.9 million to help Australia’s 620 councils maintain and improve local roads;
  •  Rail: $192.0 million for the national rail network, including improving connections to Port Botany, the Port of Melbourne and the inland rail study between Melbourne and Brisbane. In addition the fully Government owned Australian Rail Track Corporation will invest $780 million in major rail projects; and
  •  Safety: $50.5 million to eliminate black spots and improve road safety.

For a breakdown by state of these initiatives, refer to state Budget media releases.

The Rudd Government’s investment of $3.2 billion in Australia’s transport network is a key part of our plan to fight inflation and put downward pressure on interest rates.

These initiatives deliver on our election commitments and tackle major bottlenecks, congestion hotspots and safety issues.