May 12, 2009

Investing in the nation’s infrastructure priorities

Investing in the nation’s infrastructure priorities,

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 has released Infrastructure Australia’s National Infrastructure Priority List – and delivered a comprehensive response in the 2009-10 Budget.

After carefully considering the advice from Infrastructure Australia, the Government has decided to invest in the following ‘priority’ infrastructure projects:

  • 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 Works 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.
  • 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.

In addition, we will contribute funds towards six projects in the ‘pipeline’ of projects identified by Infrastructure Australia:

  • Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra (Section B) Duplication: construction is expected to start in 2009 and is scheduled for completion in 2012. Total Federal investment will be $488.0 million.
  • Northbridge Rail Link (the Hub): construction is expected to start in 2009 and is scheduled for completion in 2014. Total Federal investment will be $236.0 million.
  • West Metro – Preconstruction Work: provide an immediate $91.0 million to advance the West Metro project in Sydney to the next stage.
  • 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.
  • $339.0 million for an equity injection into the Oakajee Port Common User Facilities and $50.0 million for Darwin Port Expansion. This money will be set aside subject to further work and consideration by Infrastructure Australia.

In total, the Government is committing $8.5 billion to these nationally significant infrastructure projects.

Upon coming to office, we moved quickly to overhaul the way Australia plans, finances and builds vital economic infrastructure, introducing legislation establishing Infrastructure Australia within our first 100 days.

By establishing this new national body, and engaging with the business community, we have improved major infrastructure decisions and made sure the advice government receives reflects the national interest.

In just 12 months, Infrastructure Australia has:

  • Completed the first ever audit of the nation’s key economic infrastructure;
  • Produced the first ever set of national rules for the use and evaluation of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

And now they’ve assessed the merits of more than 1,000 possible infrastructure projects to produce the first National Priority List, a pipeline of projects to guide the long term investment decisions of both the public and private sectors.

But the work of Infrastructure Australia doesn’t end here.

As well as maintaining and regularly updating the Priority List, Sir Rod Eddington and his team will continue identifying the regulatory barriers to even greater infrastructure investment.

The current global recession will not stop the Rudd Labor Government investing in the infrastructure vital to Australia’s long term economic prosperity. In fact by doing so we are supporting jobs at a time when that support is needed most, as well as boosting productivity in the longer term.

From the Snowy River Scheme to the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the transcontinental railway, Labor has a proven track record of delivering visionary but practical infrastructure.

Our second Budget builds upon this century long Labor tradition of nation building.