Aug 24, 2013

Tony Abbott to cut Victorian Infrastructure Funding

This week the Liberal and National Parties confirmed they will slash funding for Victorian road, rail and public transport projects by almost $3.9 billion to help pay for Tony Abbott’s promises, including his extravagant, unfair and unaffordable paid parental leave scheme.

Indeed, this funding is the latest victim of the Coalition’s desperate search for ways to fill the more than $70 billion hole in their election costings, confirming that if Tony Abbott wins Victoria’s infrastructure will be the loser.

The much-needed projects to go if there’s a change of government include:

  • Melbourne Metro: Constructing a new underground rail line from west of South Kensington to east of South Yarra, increasing capacity on the entire network (Federal Labor’s contribution: $3 billion).
  • M80 (Western and Metropolitan Ring Roads): Upgrading a further 38 kilometres of these roads and install an Intelligent Transport System along the whole corridor (Federal Labor’s contribution: $525.1 million).
  • Managed Motorways: Upgrading the Intelligent Transport System along the Monash Freeway from High Street to Warrigal Road and from Warrigal Road to Clyde Road, including new sensors and Variable Speed Signs (Federal Labor’s contribution: $77.7 million).
  • Ballarat Freight Hub: Developing a general freight centre in the City’s West Employment Zone (Federal Labor’s contribution: $9.1 million).
  • Princes Highway West: Duplicating the section between Winchelsea and Colac (Federal Labor’s contribution: $257.5 million).

A full list of projects facing the axe nationwide is below.

Ripping billions of dollars out of the infrastructure budget and cancelling major projects when we should be tackling urban congestion, building stronger regions and preparing our nation for the post-mining boom era would be an act of economic vandalism.

Let’s not forget the Coalition has form. When last in government they slashed road funding by $2 billion, starved rail of much needed new investment and refused to commit anything to fixing our urban public transport infrastructure.

By contrast, under this Federal Labor Government, Australia has gone from 20th to 2nd amongst major advanced economies when it comes to infrastructure spending as a proportion of national income.  Here in Victoria we have nearly tripled annual spending from $68 to $183 per person.

Only Federal Labor has a positive vision and clear plan to build Victoria’s future.

 


TONY ABBOTT’S INFRASTRUCTURE ‘HIT LIST’

Federal Labor’s infrastructure commitments which have not been matched by the Liberal and National Parties – and are therefore likely to being cancelled if there’s a change of government on 7 September:

QUEENSLAND

  • Brisbane Cross River Rail: Construct a new tunnel between Yeerongpilly Station and Victoria Park as well as four new underground stations.  Federal contribution: $715 million.
  • Warrego Highway Upgrade: Package of works between Toowoomba and Miles.  Federal contribution: $317.5 million. 
  • Peak Downs Highway: Straighten and upgrade the Eton Ranges section of the road.  Federal contribution: $120 million.
  • Gladstone Port Access Road: Completing this new road link.  Federal contribution: $50 million.
  • Cape York Roads Package: Upgrade the road between Mapoon and Weipa, the road connecting Aurukun to the Peninsula Development Road and the Jardine River Bridge as well as redevelop the Seisia Wharf and improve the raw water pipeline from Bamaga to Seisia.  Federal contribution: $210 million

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Regional Roads Productivity Package: Upgrade six regional roads:

  • Strengthen and widen sections of Roper Highway as well as improving its flood immunity;
  • Seal sections of Port Keats Road as well as improving its flood immunity;
  • Replace gravel on poor sections of the Santa Teresa Way;
  • Construct a new bridge over Rocky Bottom Creek on Central Arnhem Road;
  • Strengthen, widen and seal sections of the Buntine Highway; and
  • Replace gravel on poor sections of Arnhem Link Road.

Federal contribution: $90 million.

NSW

  • F3 Productivity Package: Widen the F3 from Tuggerah and Doyalson and from Kariong to Somersby as well as upgrade the Kariong Interchange and the Weakleys Drive intersection.  Federal contribution: $195.8 million.
  • Port Botany Rail Link Upgrade: Remove the level crossing at the General Holmes Drive by constructing a road underpass.  Federal contribution: $40 million.
  • Port Botany Rail Line Upgrade: Upgrade the line to improve access and connectivity between the Port and the future Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.  Federal contribution $75 million.
  • Tourle Street Bridge and Cormorant Road Upgrade: Duplicate the bridge and the approaches to it.  Federal contribution: $52 million.
  • New England Highway: Realign the three kilometre Bolivia Hill section.  Federal contribution: $80 million.
  • New England Highway: Fix congestion and safety issues around the level crossing in Scone. Federal contribution: $45 million.
  • Mt Ousley upgrades: Construct two new northbound and two new southbound climbing lanes on Mt Ousley Road between Bulli Tops and Picton Road interchange.  Federal contribution: $42 million.
  • Olympic Highway: Replace the existing Kapooka Bridge and the approaches to it.  Federal contribution: $19.5 million.
  • Newell Highway: Install additional overtaking lanes.  Federal contribution: $5 million.

VICTORIA

  • Melbourne Metro: Construct a new underground rail line from west of South Kensington to east of South Yarra to increase capacity on the entire network. Federal contribution: $3 billion.
  • M80 (Western and Metropolitan Ring Roads): Complete 38 kilometres of capacity improvements including installing an Intelligent Transport System along the whole corridor:
    o   Princes Freeway to Western Highway;
    o   Sunshine Avenue to Calder Freeway;
    o   Sydney Road to Edgars Road; and
    o   Plenty Road to Greensborough Highway.   Federal contribution: $525.1 million.
  • Managed Motorways: Upgrade the Intelligent Transport System on section of the Monash Freeway between High Street and Warrigal Road, including additional sensors and Variable Speed Signs to help improve traffic flow.  Federal contribution: $9.9 million.
  • Managed Motorways: Upgrade the Intelligent Transport System along the Monash Freeway between Warrigal Road and Clyde Road, including additional sensors and more Variable Speed Signs to improve traffic flow.  Federal contribution: $68.6 million.
  • Ballarat Freight Hub: Develop a general freight centre in the Ballarat West Employment Zone.  Federal contribution: $9.1 million.
  • Princes Highway West: Duplicate the section between Winchelsea and Colac.  Federal contribution: $257.5 million.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  • South Road: Upgrade and widen the Torrens Road and the River Torrens section, including sinking 1.4 kilometres of the road below surface as well as constructing two new interchanges and a rail overpass. Federal contribution: $448 million.
  • Managed Motorways: Install an Advanced Traffic Management System along the South Eastern Freeway between Stirling and Mount Barker, including new variable speed limit and message signs. Federal contribution: $8.0 million.
  • Managed Motorways: Install an Intelligent Transport System along the South Eastern Freeway between Crafers and Stirling.  Federal contribution: $4.5 million.
  • Tonsley Park Public Transport Project: Upgrade of the public transport infrastructure in and around Tonsley Park, including duplicating a section of the Tonsley Rail Line as well as upgrading Clovelly Park and Tonsley stations with new park-and-ride facilities and bus interchanges.  Federal contribution: $31.5 million.
  • Anangu Pitjanjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands: Upgrade sections of the main access road between the Stuart Highway and Pukatja, as well as 21 kilometres of community roads.   Federal contribution: $85 million.

TASMANIA

  • Midland Highway Upgrade: Package of works, which includes duplication of the section between Perth and Breadalbane; dedicated upgrades at Mona Vale, St Peters Pass and between Mangalore and Bagdad; and planning for a future Launceston Bypass.  Federal contribution: $500 million over ten years, with the Coalition having committed only $400 million – an amount Tony Abbott has finally conceded won’t be enough to fully duplicate the road.
  • Freight Rail Revitalisation: Continuing upgrade of the network including replacing approximately 290 kilometres of old track. Federal contribution: $119.6 million.
  • Brooker Highway: Address congestion and access issues at the intersections with Goodwood and Elwick Roads as well as replace the existing Howard Road roundabout with traffic lights.  Federal contribution: $25.6 million.
  • Huon Highway: Upgrade the intersection with Summerleas Road.  Federal contribution: $17.5 million.
  • Tasman Highway Ramps: Install new on and off ramps at the intersection with the East Derwent Highway. Federal contribution: $13 million.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  • Tonkin Highway: Build three new interchanges at the intersections with Benara Road, Morley Drive and Collier Road. Federal contribution: $140.6 million.
  • Leach Highway: Widen and straighten High Street in Fremantle between Carrington Street and Stirling Highway. Federal contribution: $59 million.
  • Perth Public Transport Package: Assist in building a light rail network through the City’s northern suburbs and/or a new rail line to Perth Airport. Federal contribution: $500 million over ten years.
  • Great Northern Highway: Package of works along the Muchea to Wubin section, including realignment work, intersection upgrades, road widening and additional overtaking lanes. Federal contribution: $307.8 million.
  • North West Coastal Highway: Package of works between Minilya and Barradale, include widening and strengthening the road as well as erecting two new bridges.  Federal contribution: $174 million.