Dec 12, 2008

Rudd Government Delivers Funding Boost to Road and Rail Infrastructure in NSW

Rudd Government Delivers Funding Boost to Road and Rail Infrastructure in New South Wales

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 12 2008

New South Wales is set to benefit from $2 billion that the Rudd Labor Government is investing in our national road and rail networks over the next 18 months, including a $1 billion boost to double capacity on the Hunter Valley rail network.

The Government’s investment in roads will allow projects to commence ahead of schedule. Investment in rail will fund projects that were previously unfunded.

This nation building package, which was announced by the Prime Minister today, is part of our comprehensive plan to support jobs, families and businesses during the current global financial crisis.

With new funding, we are bringing construction forward on projects that are ready to go, creating an estimated 8,700 direct jobs across Australia.

The funding includes $1.2 billion to improve rail nationally and is the biggest single investment by the Commonwealth in the national rail network.

This package will be a win-win for the economy. The projects to be funded are:

Hunter Valley rail – $580 million equity injection into the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to fund a range of projects in the Hunter Valley that will double rail capacity to move coal, grains, cotton and flour, and keep pace with anticipated improvements to the port capacity for coal exports.

The ARTC will leverage the Commonwealth’s funding to raise additional debt capital to finance a $1 billion program for Hunter Valley rail upgrades.

Once complete, the $1 billion program will more than double the amount of coal that can be transported to port from 97 million tonnes per annum to 200.

The ARTC’s combined $1 billion investment in the Hunter Valley is expected to generate up to 650 direct jobs at the peak of its construction phase and works are scheduled for completion in 2011.

Tarcutta Bypass (Hume Highway) – $225 million in 2008-09 to accelerate the construction of a 6.8-kilometre duplicated bypass. This project will employ more than 350 people on site and is expected to commence in late 2009.

Woomargama Bypass (Hume Highway) – $265 million in 2008-09 and 2009-10 for the construction of an 8.9-kilometre duplicated bypass. This will employ more than 350 people and is expected to commence in late 2009, several months ahead of schedule.

Bulahdelah Bypass (Pacific Highway) – $5 million in 2008-09 towards the construction of an 8.6-kilometre bypass with divided carriageway. This project will employ more than 250 people on site and is expected to commence in late 2009, three months ahead of schedule.

Banora Point (Pacific Highway) – $2 million in 2008 -09 towards a 2.5-kilometre realignment of the Pacific Highway. This project will employ more than 250 people on site and is expected to commence in late 2009 – six months ahead of schedule.

Cootamundra to Parkes rail – $91.5 million to replace existing timber sleepers with concrete sleepers over a 201 kilometre section. This project will employ more than 120 people on site and is expected to commence in May 2009.

Cootamundra to Crystal Brook rail – $35 million in 2008-09 to extend each of the four existing loops between Parkes in NSW and Crystal Brook in SA to 1800 metres, and construct two new 1800 metre loops between Cootamundra and Parkes. This project will employ more than 40 people and is expected to commence in July 2009.

Sydney to Brisbane rail – $45.1 million to extend, upgrade and build three new loops at Kilbride, Kerewong and Loadstone, one new 1500 metre crossing loop at Mindarabilla and upgrade of two loops at Kilawarra and Johns River.

The project will create up to 40 jobs per loop extension or upgrade. Work on all projects is expected to commence between March and July 2009.

Melbourne – Junee Passing Lanes (NSW component) – $14.9 million to construct two additional passing lanes to improve opportunities on the Melbourne – Junee corridor for trains to pass each other at speed. The lanes will be at Culcairn (NSW) and Donnybrook (Victoria).The project is expected to create up to 40 jobs with work expected to commence February 2009.

Black Spot Program: More than double the national road Black Spot program to improve local road safety by providing an extra $60 million in 2008-09. New South Wales will benefit from this increased funding with successful projects to be determined early in 2009.

Projects to be funded include new roundabouts, improvements at dangerous intersections, installation of speed advisory signs and upgrades to pedestrian crossings.

This nation-building program is an immediate shot in the arm for the New South Wales economy, with construction expected to begin soon.

The Rudd Government is serious about building Australia’s critical infrastructure for the challenges of the future.

Further details: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/department/publications/nation_building.aspx