May 11, 2010

Nation Building: Biggest ever roads program turns three

Nation Building: Biggest ever roads program turns three

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 11 2010

The rollout of the biggest road building program in the nation’s history is approaching its halfway point, with a further $4.2 billion committed in the 2010-11 Budget to begin, progress or complete a long list of large and smaller scale projects.

Upon coming to office, the Rudd Labor Government doubled road spending and set about building a national network equal to the needs of the 21st century – one which supports social mobility and higher national productivity.

The 2010-11 Budget continues this work to expand the capacity of the economy so we can strengthen our economy and take full advantage of the opportunities ahead for Australia.

All up, our Nation Building investment is $27.7 billion over six years (2008-09 to 2013-14) to maintain and upgrade the nation’s highways and major arterials, with the states and territories contributing a further $6 billion.

Three quarters of this funding is earmarked for projects in Regional Australia.

Without this type of real and substantial action, the cost of congestion will double to $20 billion a year by the end of the decade – a potentially major impost on family budgets and the productivity of businesses.

Building better national network:

The Rudd Labor Government is building a modern and truly national road network, one that better connects all the nation’s regions and cities to each other.

A key feature of our record investment program is $11.8 billion to upgrade Australia’s key freight route – Network 1 (N1) – stretching over 3,589 kilometres from Melbourne to Cairns, comprising the Pacific, Bruce and Hume highways as well as key feeder roads.

In the coming financial year, work will start on the following upgrades to the N1:

  • Hunter Expressway – scheduled to start in 2010 and be completed in 2013. Total project cost is $1.7 billion, with a Federal contribution of $1.5 billion.
  • Pacific Highway, Kempsey Bypass – scheduled to start in 2010 and be completed in 2014. Total project cost is $618 million, fully federally funded.
  • Pacific Highway, Sapphire to Woolgoolga – scheduled to start in 2010 and be completed in 2014. Federal contribution towards this project is $610 million.
  • Bruce Highway – Cardwell Range realignment in North Queensland – scheduled to start in 2010 and be completed in 2012. Federal contribution towards this project is $115 million.

At the other end of the construction cycle, the following major upgrades to the N1 are expected to be completed over the next 12 months:

  • Pacific Motorway – Mudgeeraba Interchange – scheduled to be completed in late 2010. Total project cost is $47 million, with a Federal contribution of $23.5 million.
  • Pacific Motorway – Varsity Lakes Interchange – scheduled to be completed in early 2011. Total project cost is $80 million, with a Federal contribution of $40 million.

Beyond the N1, construction activities will begin on the following major projects during the course of 2010-11:

  • Kings Road Interchange (Calder Highway), Victoria – scheduled to start in late 2010 and be completed in mid 2012. Total project cost is $60 million, with a Federal contribution of $30 million.
  • Duplication of the Princes Highway from Waurn Ponds to Winchelsea, Victoria – scheduled to start in late 2010 and be completed in mid 2014. Total project cost is $220 million, with a Federal contribution of $110 million.
  • Dampier Highway duplication, stages 2 to 6 between Balmoral Road West in Karratha and Burrup Road in Dampier – scheduled to start in late 2010 and be completed in late 2012. Total project cost is $89 million, with a Federal contribution of $80 million.
  • Great Eastern Highway and Roe Highway Interchange northeast of Perth – scheduled to start in late 2010 and be completed in mid 2012. Total project cost is $110 million with a Federal contribution of $73 million.
  • Great Northern Highway realignment at Port Hedland – scheduled to start in early 2011 and be completed in mid 2014. Total project cost is $188 million, with a Federal contribution of $160 million.
  • The South Road Superway in Adelaide – scheduled to start in 2011 and be completed in late 2013. Total project cost is $812 million, with a Federal contribution of $430 million.

Work is expected to be completed by June 2011 on the following major projects:

  • Geelong Ring Road Stage 4A, Victoria – scheduled to be completed in late 2010. Total project cost is $125 million, with a Federal contribution of $62.5 million.
  • Mandurah Entrance Road at Mandurah – scheduled to be completed in late 2010. Total project cost is $155 million, with a Federal contribution of $77.5 million.
  • The Northern Expressway between Gawler and Adelaide – scheduled to be completed in August 2010. Total project cost is $564 million, with a Federal contribution of $451.2 million.
  • Bridgewater Bridge Refurbishment and Upgrade of the Lyell Highway Junction on the Midland Highway in Tasmania – scheduled to be completed in December 2010. Total project cost is $14.0 million which is fully funded by the Australian Government.
  • ACT: Tharwa Road/Lanyon Drive Extension Stage 2 – scheduled to be completed in June 2011. Total project cost is $19.0 million, with Australian Government contribution of $7.5 million.

Making the nation’s roads safer:

We are also continuing to fund a range of initiatives designed to make our roads even safer:

  • $59.5 million to eliminate over 320 dangerous black spots on local roads;
  • $20 million to building safe, modern roadside facilities for truck drivers, including 37 new and refurbished rest stops, parking bays and decoupling areas, and 9 bridge upgrades.

Investing in good local roads:

The nation’s councils and shires – collectively responsible for 657,000 kilometres of road – will share in more than $1 billion in 2010-11, of which over $157.2 million has been brought forward into 2009-10, money they can use to maintain and upgrade their local road infrastructure.

We have increased this financial support for the local government sector by $42.5 million.

As well as building the modern, well-planned road infrastructure vital to Australia’s long term productivity and prosperity, our record road building program is supporting jobs and economic activity in local economies nationwide. It also complements the much greater investment we’re making in rail.

Never before has a Federal Government invested so much with such urgency and purpose. The Rudd Labor Government is determined to reverse many decades of underinvestment and prepare Australia for an even more global and mobile world.