May 13, 2008

Tackling Urban Congestion and Planning

Tackling Urban Congestion and Planning


The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 13 2008

The Rudd Labor Government will partner with the states as part of its plan to unclog the roads of Australia’s big cities, making them an easier place to live, a better place to do business and a healthier place to raise a family.

This financial year (2007-08) we will provide $75 million so the states can undertake a series of extensive studies into a number of landmark projects which have the potential to transform the face of our cities and the productivity of our economy.

On top of this federal contribution, the states have agreed to kick in a further $57.5 million, bringing the total investment to $132.5 million.

The Rudd Labor Government is determined to use its first budget to make the decisions that will secure Australia’s long term prosperity, including reversing the decade long underinvestment in the nation’s transport infrastructure.

Already at least one in ten working parents are estimated to be spending longer in their cars commuting to and from work than at home with their children.

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has estimated urban congestion will cost families and businesses more than $20 billion by 2020 if we persist with current policies.

This cost would be spread across the nation’s capital cities, for example:

  •  Sydney $7.8 billion;
  •  Melbourne $6.1 billion;
  •  Brisbane $3.0 billion;
  •  Perth $2.1 billion; and
  •  Adelaide $1.1 billion.


And these costs don’t even take into account the long term environmental damage being caused by the millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere by the thousands of cars left idling in worsening traffic snarls.

What’s more, with the freight task set to double by 2020, the greatest impact is likely to be seen on our urban roads.

You can’t have a policy for moving goods, without a policy for moving people and modernising our urban transport networks.

In addition to this commitment, the Rudd Labor Government will invest $3.2 billion in 2008-09 in road and rail projects across the country – including over half a billion dollars to make an early start on a number of key election commitments.

New South Wales

The Government is investing $20 million in 2007-08 in a feasibility study into the proposed Western Metro (Green Line) between Parramatta and the CBD. This rail link would be independent of the existing rail network and with transfer opportunities at key points, it would significantly cut the transport burden on western Sydney. The feasibility study will identify preferred alignments and establish a business case and estimates of patronage, revenue and cost.

The total cost of the study is $30 million.

The Government is also investing $5 million in 2007-08 in a feasibility study to examine potential improvements to the M5 transport corridor from Port Botany/Sydney Airport to South West Sydney. Improvements to the corridor have the potential to support strong growth in freight, passenger and population in Sydney’s south west.

The total cost of the study is $15 million.


The Government is investing $12 million in 2007-08 in a study to assess the projects identified in the Investing in Transport-East West Link Needs Assessment that proceed to the feasibility study stage following the current consultation process. The report, which was prepared for the Victorian Government by Sir Rod Eddington, identified a number of projects that would improve east west connections across Melbourne.

The total cost of the study is $30 million.

The Government is also investing $9 million in 2007-08 into planning, traffic modelling, scoping works and pre-construction works for the Western Ring Road. The congested Western Ring Road is a vital link for people living in Melbourne’s western and north-western suburbs, and is also an important link to the Ports of Melbourne, Geelong and the Melbourne Airport.

The total cost of the study is $12 million.

South Australia

The Government is investing $3 million in 2007-08 into a transport sustainability study for Adelaide. The study will analyse urban congestion to 2030 and identify improvements that need to be made to public transport networks (rail, bus and tram), road networks, traffic management, land use and demand management. This will include examining capacity constraints at key intersections, including rail crossings.

The total cost of the study is $4 million.

Western Australia

The Government is investing $3 million in 2007-08 to develop a strategic framework for transport networks servicing Perth Airport. The study will identify key transport needs and routes, including public transport, and develop a strategy for the airport and environs, linking with the Metropolitan Freight Strategy.

The total cost of the study is $3.5 million.


The Government is investing $13 million for a number of planning studies to enable the upgrade of the Bruce Highway to begin as soon as possible. The Rudd Labor Government plans to spend nearly $2.2 billion to upgrade the Bruce Highway over the next five years.

Projects for which planning will be brought forward include the:

  •  Southern Motorway in Cairns;
  •  Douglas Arterial duplication in Townsville;
  • Southern approach to Mackay; and
  •  Calliope Crossroads between Gladstone and Calliope.

The total cost of the planning studies is $18 million.

The Government is also investing $10 million to accelerate planning to upgrade the Gateway Motorway missing links – the northern section between Nudgee Road and the Bruce Highway and the southern section between Mount Gravatt-Capalaba Road and the Pacific Motorway.

The total cost of the planning study is $20 million.