Jun 18, 2009

New stats: annual federal roads budget up 70 per cent

New stats: annual federal roads budget up 70 per cent

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

18 June 2009

New statistics confirm the unprecedented scale of the Rudd Labor Government’s roads budget which is already supporting jobs today by building the road infrastructure Australia will need tomorrow.

The latest Transport Statistics Yearbook reveals the average annual road spend during the Howard Government’s last 6 years was just $2.7 billion. By contrast, we will invest an average of $4.7 billion a year over 6 years – an increase of more than 70 per cent.

The Howard Government’s legacy is made even more shameful when you consider the tens of billions of extra dollars that were flowing into Treasury coffers as a result of the once in a generation mining boom.

Despite the global recession and the ending of the mining boom, the Rudd Labor Government is determined to reverse this decade long underinvestment.

Our much larger roads budget will deliver over 120 major projects; additional assistance for local roads; upgrades to thousands of dangerous black spots; safety measures at high risk level crossings; and additional rest stops for truckies.

A number of the projects that have now secured funding were put on the ‘never-never’ by the previous government including upgrading the Bruce Highway, the widening of the Ipswich Motorway, and construction of the Kempsey Bypass and Hunter Expressway.

Under this Government, higher road spending is being complemented by a much greater investment in rail – $7.9 billion over 6 years.

A full copy of the Transport Statistics Yearbook can be downloaded from: www.bitre.gov.au.