Jun 16, 2009

Vital nation building legislation passes the Parliament

Vital nation building legislation passes the Parliament

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

16 June 2009

Federal Parliament has today passed the legislation necessary to deliver the Rudd Labor Government’s Nation Building Program, the largest ever investment in the nation’s transport infrastructure and essential to supporting jobs.

The six year investment Program provides a record $32 billion in road and rail funding – more than twice what the previous government spent over a similar period. Nearly two thirds of this funding is earmarked for projects in regional Australia.

It is now full steam ahead with the delivery of:

  • More than 120 major road and 26 major rail projects;
  • An extra $450 million in maintenance money;
  • Additional assistance for local councils to maintain their local roads;
  • Upgrades to thousands of dangerous black spots both on and off the national road network;
  • Boom gates and other safety measures at 292 high risk level crossings; and
  • Additional rest stops for heavy vehicles.

The Nation Building Program will fund routine maintenance as well as upgrades to poorly designed and congested sections of the transport network – which in turn will lower transport costs, tackle the escalating cost of urban congestion, cut travel times, reduce carbon emissions and saves lives.

The passage of the legislation followed the successful outcome of negotiations in April with all the state and territory governments, with each of them agreeing to become our partners in the Program’s delivery.

With a relatively small population spread across a vast continent, Australia is heavily reliant on its transport infrastructure, particularly the highways and interstate rail network.

That’s why upgrading Australia’s transport network is central to the Government’s nation building agenda and essential to the country’s international competitiveness.

The existing AusLink (National Land Transport) Act 2005 will now become the Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Act 2009.