Jun 19, 2016

Labor’s plan for commuter infrastructure

A Shorten Labor Government will improve infrastructure in Australia’s three largest cities –  Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, in an investment that will manage fast growing populations and drive job creation.

A Shorten Labor Government will tackle traffic congestion in Western Sydney by supporting a missing rail link, connecting the north-west and south-west of Sydney, via the second Sydney Airport. This contribution will create over 1,000 local jobs in planning and construction.

An investment of $400 million will go towards a passenger rail network that allows north-south rail travel across Western Sydney, and an outer orbital rail network.

In Victoria, Labor will commit $500 million to back the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project and a Park and Ride Access Fund.

The Metro Tunnel project will add capacity to Melbourne’s existing transport network. Five new underground stations will be built and 65 new high-capacity trains will be added.

Labor will invest $120 million in a Park and Ride Access Fund to boost car parking capacity at high use train stations, and make funding available for new stations where demand growth is expected. Dedicated cycle facilities will also be incorporated in these projects. Up to 12,000 commuter car spaces will be enabled by this investment.

Labor’s investment will take the total federal contribution to the Metro and the Park and Ride Fund to $1.35 billion.

A Shorten Labor Government will also invest $800 million in the Brisbane Cross River Rail Project which will ease congestion, improve transport connections and create local jobs for a growing Brisbane population.

The project will create an estimated 8,000 jobs and the focus on infrastructure investment will increase the capacity of the entire Brisbane public transport network, getting ahead of growth.

Labor’s announcement follows the Queensland Government’s announcement last week that it will establish a delivery authority which will obtain environmental approvals and commence scoping of value share opportunities, early works and pre-procurement activities for the transformative project.

The Cross River rail project includes a 10.2 kilometre link from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, with 5.9 kilometres of tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD. It will connect to northern and southern rail networks, providing significant benefits to commuters from both directions. Stations will be developed at five key locations: Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street, Roma Street and the Exhibition showgrounds.

In addition, a Shorten Labor Government will work with the three State Governments to access Labor’s $10 billion Infrastructure Finance Facility, which was announced in 2015, to determine whether innovative financing options are available to unlock federal funds for these projects.

Working in conjunction with the State Governments, a Shorten Labor Government will honour its strong commitment to the local steel industry and local steel jobs by maximising the use of Australian steel in all federally-funded projects.

Labor’s commitments are contingent on a positive assessment from Infrastructure Australia prior to securing funds.

When it was elected, the Abbott-Turnbull Liberal Government cut all funding to new public transport projects, and since its election in 2013, public sector infrastructure investment across Australia has fallen.

We have lost three years on public transport across Australia under the Liberals.

These projects are important parts of Labor’s cities policy. With 80 per cent of Australians living in cities, how we plan and design our cities is vital to making them productive, sustainable and liveable.

Only Labor will build the transport infrastructure that Australians will need in the future.

For full details of Labor’s infrastructure investment plan, please visit:

VICTORIA: www.100positivepolicies.org.au/investing_in_melbourne_public_transport_fact_sheet

NEW SOUTH WALES: www.100positivepolicies.org.au/western_sydney_north_south_passenger_rail_line_fact_sheet

QUEENSLAND: www.100positivepolicies.org.au/brisbane_cross_river_rail_fact_sheet

SUNDAY, 19 JUNE 2016