Mar 30, 2011

Labor’s nation building agenda delivers for Western Australia

Labor’s nation building agenda delivers for Western Australia

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

March 30 2011

The major federally funded road projects currently underway across Western Australia will cut travel times and improve safety for more than 450,000 motorists and truck drivers a day.

Even more significantly, the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has calculated our investment in these projects will over time deliver back to the people of Western Australian economic, social and environmental benefits worth $5.7 billion.

That’s a healthy rate of return of $3.10 for every $1 invested.

Today’s release of this new research coincides with my inspection of progress on the construction of a new interchange between the Great Eastern and Roe highways. This Federally-funded project will by itself ease congestion and improve safety for the 60,000 motorists which use this intersection daily.

All up, the Gillard Labor Government is investing a record $2.7 billion in the State’s roads and highways as part of our Nation Building Program – substantially more than what the Howard Government spent over a similar period of time.

I am pleased to report that at the halfway point in the rollout of this six-year Program two of its eleven major road projects in Western Australia are already completed, with work on the rest progressing on schedule.

Since being elected a little over three years ago, this Labor Government’s infrastructure priorities in the West have been all about positioning the State to take full advantage of the next resources boom as well as tackling the worsening congestion in and around Perth.

In fact without concerted action from all levels of government the cost of traffic congestion to the City’s families and businesses will almost double to $2.1 billion a year by the end of this decade.

From Port Hedland in the north to Bunbury in the south, the Gillard Labor Government is reversing the neglect we inherited and begun putting in place the modern, well-planned infrastructure critical to making Western Australia even more prosperous and its economy even more productive.