May 10, 2011

More Funding For The Pacific Highway

More Funding For The Pacific Highway

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Federal Member for Grayndler

May 10 2011

The vision of a better, safer and fully duplicated Pacific Highway is closer to becoming a reality, with the Gillard Labor Government prepared to increase its investment in this road by $1 billion as part of the 2011-12 Budget.

The extra funding will complete all the necessary detailed planning along those remaining sections of highway where this has not already occurred. If matched by the NSW Government, further construction could also begin in the short term including on the Frederickton to Eungai section.

This task is given even greater urgency by the fact that interstate freight between Sydney and Brisbane is predicted to almost triple by 2029, with 80 per cent of this growth expected to be carried by trucks using the Pacific Highway.

The additional funding contained in the 2011-12 Budget brings total Federal investment in the Pacific Highway under the Gillard Labor Government to a record $4.1 billion over seven years. This compares to the former Howard Government’s record of just $1.3 billion over twelve years.

The upgrade of the Pacific Highway is now the largest road construction project underway anywhere in the nation, with more than 1,000 workers currently on site upgrading some 69 kilometres of road.

The Pacific Highway Upgrade has been identified by Infrastructure Australia as a priority project.

Projects currently underway:

• Duplication of the road at Glenugie, with work expected to be completed in 2011 – Federal contribution: $54 million;

• Construction of the Ballina Bypass, with work expected to be completed in 2012 – Federal contribution: $421 million;

• Duplication of the road between Sapphire and Woolgoolga, with work expected to be completed in 2013 – Federal contribution: $610 million;

• Construction of the Bulahdelah Bypass, with work expected to be completed in 2012 – Federal contribution: $284.8 million;

• Construction of the Kempsey Bypass, with work expected to be completed in 2013 – Federal contribution: $618 million;

• Upgrade and realignment of the road at Banora Point, with work expected to be completed in 2012 – Federal contribution: $347 million.

In addition, work will start on the following major projects during the coming financial year (2011-12):

• Duplicating the road between Tintenbar and Ewingsdale – Federal contribution: $566 million;

• Duplicating the road at Devils Pulpit – Federal contribution: $62 million.

We have already begun negotiations with the NSW Government with the aim of securing a matching contribution so construction along the incomplete sections can begin as soon as possible. Matched funding from the NSW Government is critical to achieving our shared commitment of completing the highway by 2016.