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Outcome 1-Transport outputs and programmes

Output 1.3.1-AusLink

Highlights

Of the 186 projects in the AusLink Investment Programme, 88 have been completed. Achievements in 2006-07 included the completion of the Albury-Wodonga Hume Freeway upgrade, the largest single road project in regional Australia.

The expenditure of funds by state governments and the Northern Territory Government to support accelerated works packages on the AusLink National Network is ahead of projections: expenditure in 2006-07 was $184.7 million, considerably more than the $131.0 million projected in the 2006-07 Budget.

In late November and early December 2006, the Australian Government announced 86 new projects, at a cost of $126.7 million, funded under the 2006 round of the AusLink Strategic Regional Programme.

In the 2007-08 Budget, the Australian Government announced the provision of an extra $250 million in 2006-07 for the Strategic Regional Programme. Funding agreements were put in place for a further 102 projects that support industry, tourism, economic development and access to export markets under the programme.

All 24 AusLink corridor strategies have been completed to draft stage and posted on the AusLink website for stakeholder comment.

The Australian Government has announced funding commitments for AusLink 2 (2009-2014) totalling $22.3 billion. Consultations with state and territory governments will help define new projects to be funded.

Overview-Output 1.3.1-AusLink

Output 1.3.1 is delivered by the AusLink business division.

AusLink is Australia's national land transport plan for achieving better land transport planning and investment decision making. Through AusLink, the Australian Government has committed to increased investment in land transport, improved long-term planning, encouragement of the best ideas and solutions, and investments targeted to achieve the best outcomes.

The output includes 11 administered programmes:

  • AusLink Investment;
  • AusLink Black Spot Projects;
  • AusLink Roads to Recovery;
  • AusLink Strategic Regional;
  • AusLink Strategic Regional-supplementary funding;
  • AusLink improving local roads;
  • AusLink improving the National Network;
  • Management of residual issues of former Australian National Railways Commission (AN);
  • Murray River Bridges-Federation Fund Project;
  • Upgrade of the Mainline Interstate Railway Track; and
  • Whitehorse Road and Springvale Road intersection upgrade.

Table 3.16 summarises the output's performance in 2006-07.

Summary of performance-Output 1.3.1-AusLink

Table 3.16 Summary of performance-Output 1.3.1

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

The Australian Government's national land transport plan (AusLink) is implemented to maintain and improve the standard of national infrastructure

Of 186 major projects funded under AusLink, 88 have been completed and most of the others are well advanced.

In 2006-07, the Department administered $2.8 billion in direct and indirect grants for land transport infrastructure.

Infrastructure planning and investment decision making processes are improved in partnership with state and territory governments

States and territories participated in the development of individual planning and investment strategies for each of the 24 road and rail corridors that make up the AusLink National Network.

Quality

Programmes are administered in line with relevant legislation

All programmes were administered in accordance with relevant legislation, agreements, notes on administration and other guidance material.

Price

$20.8 million

The actual price of this output in 2006-07 was $19.4 million.

Overall performance

Detailed report on performance-Output 1.3.1-AusLink

Effectiveness indicators-Output 1.3.1

The Australian Government's national land transport plan (AusLink) is implemented to maintain and improve the standard of national infrastructure

AusLink implementation

AusLink received additional funding of $0.7 billion in the 2006-07 Budget, bringing to $15.8 billion the Australian Government's total funding commitment to land transport infrastructure under AusLink over the five financial years to 30 June 2009. In 2006-07, the third year of the plan, the Department administered $2.8 billion in direct and indirect grants to replace, upgrade and maintain the quality of land transport infrastructure on behalf of the Australian Government.

Twenty-four planning and investment strategies were completed to a stage where stakeholder comments could be sought on the drafts.

Details of achievements are provided in the reports on performance for each of the programmes administered under Output 1.3.1.

Infrastructure planning and investment decision making processes are improved in partnership with state and territory governments

A key component of AusLink is the development of a corridor strategy for each of the 24 designated road and rail links that make up the National Network, to improve long-term transport infrastructure planning. The corridor strategies have a planning horizon of 20-25 years, and underpin the five-year investment programmes that characterise AusLink.

The corridor strategies have been developed jointly by the Australian Government and the governments of the states and territories, facilitated by the Department. By 30 June 2007, draft strategies had been developed and priorities had been agreed for all 24 corridors.

To encourage stakeholder feedback, as the corridor strategies were completed they were made available online through the AusLink website, www.auslink.gov.au.

Quality indicators-Output 1.3.1

Programmes are administered in line with relevant legislation

The AusLink (National Land Transport) Act 2005 (AusLink Act) provides for the funding of projects related to land transport matters, and for related purposes. In 2006-07 the Department administered the following programmes:

  • AusLink Investment;
  • AusLink Black Spot Projects;
  • AusLink Roads to Recovery;
  • AusLink Strategic Regional;
  • AusLink Strategic Regional-supplementary funding;
  • AusLink improving local roads;
  • AusLink improving the National Network;
  • Management of residual issues of former Australian National Railways Commission (AN);
  • Murray River Bridges-Federation Fund Project; and
  • Upgrade of the Mainline Interstate Railway Track.

All programmes were administered in line with the AusLink Act or other relevant legislation.

Administered programmes-Output 1.3.1-AusLink

Table 3.17 Summary of performance-AusLink Investment

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

Road, rail and related infrastructure is maintained and enhanced along designated transport corridors

A total of 186 National Network projects are funded under the five-year programme. Of these, 88 had been completed and nearly all other projects were well advanced by 30 June 2007.

Road maintenance contributions were provided to states and territories in line with the AusLink allocation formula.

Infrastructure planning and investment decision making processes are improved in partnership with state and territory governments

Through the jointly developed corridor strategies, the Australian Government and the governments of the states and territories agreed on priorities for the AusLink National Network. These priorities will inform future planning and investment decisions.

Quality

Transport corridor objectives, strategies and priorities reflect national needs for future investment a

The agreed corridor strategies are a statement of shared strategic priorities for the long-term development of the National Network. The corridor strategies are underpinned by the AusLink network objectives, which reflect the national investment priorities.

Projects are administered in line with relevant legislation

All legislative requirements were observed. Projects were also administered in accordance with bilateral agreements and notes on administration.

Cost

$1,604.3 million

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was $1,604.0 million.

The underspend relates to funds reallocated to the National Transport Commission programme.

Overall performance

a Performance indicator modified in the 2007-08 PBS.

Did you know?

The total planned investment under AusLink 1 and AusLink 2 is $38 billion. In 2006-07, the budgeted AusLink expenditure was $2.8 billion.

Effectiveness indicators-AusLink Investment

Road, rail and related infrastructure is maintained and enhanced along designated transport corridors

AusLink Investment funds maintenance and construction projects on the National Network, as well as a small number of projects off the network. The Australian Government invested $1.6 billion on projects and maintenance in 2006-07. Some projects were funded jointly with state and territory governments and other parties.

Of the 186 National Network projects in the five-year programme, 88 had been completed by 30 June 2007. Projects that were completed in 2006-07 included:

  • upgrading of the Albury-Wodonga section of the Hume Freeway;
  • duplication of the Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush section and the first stage of the Karuah to Buladelah section of the Pacific Highway;
  • realignment of the Devils Pinch section of the New England Highway;
  • widening and upgrading of the Heartbreak Ridge and Balladonia East sections of the Eyre Highway; and
  • duplication of the Sawyers Valley to The Lakes section of the Great Eastern Highway.

Projects that began or continued in 2006-07 included:

  • the bypass of Coolac on the Hume Highway;
  • duplication of the Bonville section and second and third stages of the Karuah to Buladelah section of the Pacific Highway;
  • widening of the Caboolture Motorway to six lanes, north of Brisbane;
  • the western bypass of Geelong;
  • construction of an improved rail link to the Port of Melbourne;
  • construction of the Logan Motorway-Ipswich Motorway interchange;
  • construction of the Perth-Bunbury Highway; and
  • upgrading of the intersection of Hampstead Road, Mullers Road and Regency Road in Adelaide.

Infrastructure planning and investment decision making processes are improved in partnership with state and territory governments

The planning and decision-making processes of AusLink ensure that investment in infrastructure:

  • is well informed, by examining how each land transport corridor needs to perform to meet future demands safely and effectively;
  • represents a robust solution to a transport problem;
  • targets national objectives and priorities;
  • is based on planning undertaken in partnership with states and territories and involving non-government stakeholders; and
  • increases the potential for private sector involvement.

In 2006-07 the Department assisted the Australian Government and the governments of the states and territories to jointly prepare corridor strategies that will provide a firm basis for future investment decisions

Quality indicators-AusLink Investment

Transport corridor objectives, strategies and priorities reflect national needs for future investment

The approved objectives for developing the National Network provide a focus for assessing corridor needs and establishing national priorities that will:

  • increase efficiency and infrastructure handling capacity;
  • improve safety and security;
  • improve the productivity of nationally strategic and export-oriented freight corridors;
  • improve the reliability of travel on interstate and inter-regional corridors; and
  • be consistent with viable, long-term economic and social outcomes, and with the obligation to current and future generations to sustain the environment.

In 2006-07 some $8.5 million was invested in AusLink transport development and innovation projects. These projects included:

  • consultancies to research and compile material to assist the development of corridor strategies;
  • research and development to improve the technology or practices that might be used on the national land transport network-for example, better integrated transport management systems, such as variable speed signs and traffic flow monitoring systems; and
  • funding for land transport research entities that may improve land transport operations in Australia more generally.

Projects are administered in line with relevant legislation

All AusLink investment projects active in 2006-07 were administered in accordance with relevant legislation. Most projects were administered under the AusLink Act, while a small number of former Roads of National Importance projects were administered under the Australian Land Transport Development Act 1988.

Projects were also administered in accordance with AusLink bilateral agreements (between the Australian Government and each state and territory government), memorandums of understanding with some states, the Northern Territory and the Australian Rail Track Corporation, and notes on administration.

Did you know?

Through AusLink, the Australian Government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), a company in which it holds 100 per cent of shares, are investing more than $2.4 billion in rail infrastructure in the first five years of AusLink.

The Australian Government has provided $820 million in special grants to the ARTC, which the corporation is investing in the mainline AusLink Network.

Faster travel times on the Melbourne- Brisbane rail corridor will allow rail to compete more effectively with road-based transport.

Table 3.18 Summary of performance-AusLink Black Spot Projects

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

Road crashes are reduced at treated sites, along with trauma and associated costs to the community

AusLink Black Spot projects are a key element of the Australian Government's efforts to reduce the national road fatality rate by 40 per cent over the decade to 2010. In April 2007, the Government announced that it would extend the programme until June 2014.

In 2006-07 the Department administered $41.6 million in support for projects to improve road safety at identified crash sites.

The programme has reduced the risk of crashes by funding measures such as traffic lights, roundabouts, signage and edge sealing at dangerous locations on roads around Australia.

Quality

Priority is given to proposals for cost-effective treatment of sites with a proven history of crashes (black spots)

In 2006-07 the Department continued to work with state and territory agencies to ensure that the programme was administered efficiently and cost-effectively across all jurisdictions.

Most funding goes to treat sites with a record of at least three accidents involving casualties over a five-year period, that can demonstrate a robust benefit to cost ratio of at least 2:1.

Approximately 50 per cent of programme funding is reserved for projects in rural areas, consistent with the proportion of road deaths and serious injuries occurring in those areas. Rural projects received 48 per cent of the total funding in 2006-07.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) audited the programme in 2006-07. The report, which is available on the ANAO website, www.anao.gov.au, confirms that generally the programme is delivering against its objectives. The report proposes some areas of refinement of administrative arrangements for consideration by the Department. The Department has accepted, with qualifications, all but one recommendation.

Payments are made in line with the AusLink legislation

The Department administered payments under this programme in line with Part 7 of the AusLink Act.

Quantity/Location

Approximately 360 'black spots' are approved for funding

A 'black spot' can be nominated through the AusLink website, www.auslink.gov.au.

The number of Black Spot projects approved varies each year depending on the cost of approved works. In 2006-07, 307 new black spots were approved for treatment.

Cost

$44.6 million

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was $41.6 million.

Funding is provided to the states and territories for approved projects, with payments made on the basis of claimed project expenditures. The states and territories collectively underclaimed the available funding by $3.0 million in 2006-07 because of delays in completing some projects. These projects will be completed during 2007-08 and the states and territories will claim the funding balance.

Overall performance

Table 3.19 Summary of performance-AusLink Roads to Recovery

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

Local councils use funds to maintain and improve land transport infrastructure

The AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme provides funding for projects at a local level. Each local authority across Australia is guaranteed a share of the programme funding.

Shares are determined by a formula, based on population and road length, set by the local government grants commission in each state and the Northern Territory. Money is paid directly by the Australian Government to each council. Decisions on projects to be funded are made locally and reported to the Australian Government.

Funds are used for a range of purposes, including road work, bridge work and the installation of traffic lights, but cannot be spent on moveable capital equipment such as graders. Councils are required to lodge audited financial statements stating how they have spent the programme funds.

In 2006-07 around 4,500 projects were proposed and $304.4 million was provided under this programme.

Quality

Payments are made in line with AusLink legislation

The Department administered payments under this programme in line with Part 8 of the AusLink Act.

Quantity

Approximately 700 councils are eligible for funding

Every council in Australia is eligible to receive funding under the Roads to Recovery Programme. Funds are also available to the Northern Territory Government and state governments for roads in unincorporated areas.

Over the four financial years of the programme:

  • $1.2 billion will be provided to councils, distributed in accordance with the recommendations of local government grants commissions; and
  • $30 million will be provided to the unincorporated areas of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Indian Ocean Territories.

Cost

$307.5 million

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was $304.4 million.

Under the AusLink Act, the Minister has determined a four-year allocation for each local government authority (LGA) for the period 2005-06 to 2008-09. In 2006-07 the LGAs collectively underclaimed against available funds. Each LGA is expected to fully claim their four-year allocation by 2008-09.

Overall performance

Table 3.20 Summary of performance-AusLink Strategic Regional

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

Local councils use funds to develop regional land transport infrastructure supporting industry, tourism and economic development

Five projects were completed, and 86 projects (representing 78 councils and some unincorporated areas of South Australia and the Northern Territory) were announced, in 2006-07.

Quality

Projects satisfy eligibility criteria

All projects submitted in response to a call for applications in 2006 were assessed against the published eligibility criteria. Less than 6 per cent of applications were found to be ineligible.

Quantity

Approximately 700 councils are eligible for funding

Every council in Australia is eligible to receive funding under the programme. Funds can also be provided to state and territory governments responsible for roads in unincorporated areas.

Cost

$60.3 million

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was $40.0 million.

The underspend is due to the timing of 2006 funding announcements. Approval has been provided to move
$20.0 million to the forward years.

Overall performance

Effectiveness indicators-AusLink Strategic Regional

Local councils use funds to develop regional land transport infrastructure supporting industry, tourism and economic development

The AusLink Strategic Regional Programme encourages collaboration among local government authorities to develop an effective regional transport network to assist established and emerging industries and strengthen social connectivity.

Project funding is conditional on proponents entering into a funding agreement with the Australian Government; 42 such funding agreements have been finalised

Over five years, the programme is providing funds of:

  • $93 million, for 21 projects announced in 2004; and
  • $127 million, for 86 projects announced in 2006.

Projects completed in 2006-07 include:

  • construction of traffic signals on Camden Valley Way, New South Wales;
  • construction of a boardwalk along Metung Road, Victoria;
  • construction of a new River Heads Road, Queensland;
  • upgrading of Bridport Main Road, Tasmania; and
  • upgrading of the access road to the Midwest Regional Livestock Export Remote Access Facility, Western Australia.

The Department developed and monitored funding agreements with project proponents to ensure that funds spent were consistent with the scope of the project and that the projects progressed according to agreed timelines.

Quality indicators-AusLink Strategic Regional

Projects satisfy eligibility criteria

The Department assessed 495 applications against published criteria during 2006-07.

In November and December 2006, the Australian Government announced funding for 86 of the projects assessed in this process.

Quantity indicators-AusLink Strategic Regional

Approximately 700 councils are eligible for funding

Every council in Australia is eligible to receive funding under the programme. Funds can also be provided to those state and territory governments responsible for roads in unincorporated areas.

In total, 86 councils, two state governments and the Northern Territory Government are receiving funding for 107 projects.

Table 3.21 Summary of performance-AusLink Strategic Regional-supplementary funding

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

Local councils and states and territory governments on behalf of unincorporated areas use funds to develop regional land transport infrastructure supporting industry, tourism and economic development

Funding agreements covering 102 projects were finalised with proponents in June 2007.

Quality

Projects eligible for approval by the responsible Minister under Part 6 of the AusLink (National Land Transport) Act 2005

All projects were approved by the responsible Minister.

Quantity

Approximately 700 councils and state and territory governments on behalf of unincorporated areas are eligible for funding

The Australian Government provided supplementary funding for 102 projects, to 79 councils and the South Australian Government.

Cost

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was $250.3 million.a

An amount of $250.3 million was paid in 2006-07 to be expensed in the forward years.

Overall performance

Note: Performance indicators for this programme are based on those originally published in the 2006-07 PBS for the AusLink Strategic Regional programme, but expanded to include state and territory governments which can apply on behalf of unincorporated areas and to relate eligibility to the Act. They will be published in the 2007-08 PAES.
a Of this total, $257,000 comes from funds previously unallocated under the Strategic Regional Programme.

Table 3.22 Summary of performance-AusLink improving local roads

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

Local councils use funds to accelerate works to maintain and improve the local road network

In the 2006 Budget, the Australian Government announced a special one-off payment of $307.5 million, to be shared by local councils, three state governments, the Northern Territory Government and the Indian Ocean Territories.

Quality

Funds are paid to local councils and for unincorporated areas and are used for the construction or maintenance of roads

The funds are distributed and administered under similar funding conditions to those of the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme. Reports from councils on their use of these funds during 2006-07, the first year of the programme, are due to be lodged by 31 October 2007.

Quantity/Location

Approximately 700 councils are eligible for funding

Payments were made in June 2006 to 706 councils, the Northern Territory Government and state governments responsible for roads in unincorporated areas.

Cost

$76.9 million

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was nil.

This relates to an amount of $307.5 million paid in 2005-06 to be expensed in subsequent years. Expenses will now be recognised from 2007-08.

Overall performance

Table 3.23 Summary of performance-AusLink improving the National Network

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

Roads and related infrastructure is enhanced along designated transport corridors

Sound progress was achieved on all 10 accelerated works packages, with planning well advanced and significant construction activity already underway by 30 June 2007.

Quality

Projects are administered in line with relevant legislation and agreements between jurisdictions and the Australian Government

The Department administers projects under legislation, relevant memorandums of understanding, sections of AusLink bilateral agreements and notes on administration.

Cost

$131.0 million

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was $180.9 million

This relates to an amount of $1,820.0 million paid in 2005- 06 to be expensed in subsequent years. The expenses projected to be recognised in 2006-07 were based on anticipated expenditures by the jurisdictions. Progress on projects by the jurisdictions during 2006-07 was better than expected resulting in a higher level of expenses.

Overall performance

Effectiveness indicators-AusLink improving the National Network

Roads and related infrastructure is enhanced along designated transport corridors

In June 2006, the Australian Government paid $1.8 billion to states and the Northern Territory to undertake designated works packages towards improving the AusLink National Network, largely by the end of 2009. The funding is being expensed by the states and the Northern Territory over the period to 2010. In general, work proceeded faster than anticipated in 2006-07.

Works and progress under the programme include:

  • providing dual carriageway on the remaining unduplicated sections of the Hume Highway south of the junction with the Sturt Highway, except for about 20 kilometres at Woomargama, Holbrook and Tarcutta, where planning for bypasses is required-planning for the duplication has been largely completed, some construction work is underway in the Woomargama to Table Top section, and major construction activity will commence in late 2007;
  • duplicating the Pacific Highway from Moorland to Herons Creek, south of Port Macquarie, and undertaking priority safety works along the highway-the safety works are underway, and the Moorland to Herons Creek project has been combined with the Coopernook to Moorland project and will commence in late 2007;
  • undertaking flood immunity works on the Bruce Highway at Tully and a range of improvements on the highway between Townsville and Cairns-construction began in May 2007 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2009;
  • upgrading the Great Northern, Great Eastern and Eyre highways in Western Australia, including completing the Lennard Street to Muchea section of the Great Northern Highway and further bridgeworks on the highway in the Kimberley-these projects have been completed or are in progress;
  • upgrading the East Tamar Highway in Tasmania, including a bypass of Dilston-preliminary design planning work has begun; and
  • undertaking flood mitigation works across the Victoria River floodplain on the Victoria Highway in the Northern Territory. Construction of phase 1 of the project, which includes replacing the Victoria River bridge, is expected to start by October 2007 and be completed by the end of 2009. Planning for phase 2 is underway.

Table 3.24 Summary of performance-Management of residual issues of former Australian National Railways Commission (AN)

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

The future of the former AN plans is resolved, along with any other residual issues which may emergea

The Australian National Railways Commission (AN) plan room in Adelaide houses around 180,000 plans and drawings of rail rolling stock and infrastructure. In 2006-07 the Department worked with the National Archives of Australia and a consultant to develop a draft Records Disposal Authority for the plans. This included a stakeholder consultation meeting held in Adelaide and attended by nearly 40 users of the plans. This process is expected to be completed in 2007-08.

Representations were received from a number of railway historical societies interested in adding the diesel electric locomotive 'GM1' to their museums' collections. The Department began preparatory legal work in 2006-07 to consider options for the future ownership of the locomotive.

Quality

Public access to plans of heritage value is maintained

Public access to the AN plans was maintained in Adelaide throughout 2006-07. The Records Disposal Authority identifies plans of heritage value and proposes to maintain public access through the National Archives of Australia.

Cost

$0.4 million

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was $0.05m.

The budget figure is a nominal amount based on an estimate of the required legal costs, costs of consultants and other professional services required on an as-needs basis. Work has been progressing well on AN residual issues but the professional services have not been required in 2006-07 to the level anticipated.

Overall performance

a Performance indicator modified in the 2007-08 PBS.

Table 3.25 Summary of performance-Murray River Bridges-Federation Fund Project

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

New regional infrastructure improves access

The objective is to provide a crossing of the Murray River at Echuca-Moama, Victoria.

The Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation has not agreed, on cultural and heritage grounds, to the proposed western alignment of the new bridge. As a result, there were no outcomes for the project in 2006-07.

The Victorian Government has appointed an independent facilitator to work with all parties to progress the discussions about the alignment for a new crossing and move the project forward. The Department will continue to monitor these discussions.

Quality

Payments are made in line with the Australian Government's obligations

There were no payments made during 2006-07.

Location

A new bridge is constructed over the Murray River at Echuca-Moamaa

Cost

Nil

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was nil.

Overall performance

a Performance indicator modified in the 2007-08 PBS.

Table 3.26 Summary of performance-Upgrade of the Mainline Interstate Railway Track

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

The project improves interstate rail track efficiency and amenity of the Wodonga town centre

In February 2007 the Australian Government approved funding of $45 million to the Victorian Government towards the cost of constructing a rail bypass at Wodonga. Of that funding, $25 million was from the Upgrade of the Mainline Interstate Railway Track Programme and $20 million was from the AusLink Investment Programme.

The rail bypass will benefit the residents of Wodonga, who have long had to deal with the disadvantages of having the Melbourne-Sydney mainline railway track running through the centre of their city. This has impacted on the efficiency and productivity of interstate rail services, as well as causing fragmentation of the Wodonga CBD and loss of valuable space that could be better used to provide civic amenities.

Construction work is expected to commence in 2007-08.

Quantity/Location

The interstate mainline rail track through the Wodonga CBD is replaced with a rail bypass

The approved bypass project will remove the rail track from the Wodonga CBD.

Payments are made in line with the Australian Government's obligations

Payments were not made for this project in 2006-07.

Cost

$20.0 million

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was nil.

Underspend is due to delays in finalising approvals for the project. Approval has been provided to move the funds to 2007-08.

Overall performance

Table 3.27 Summary of performance-Whitehorse Road and Springvale Road intersection upgrade

PBS/PAES performance indicators Results

Effectiveness

A detailed assessment of options to address transport and other problems at the intersection of Whitehorse and Springvale roads is produced

On 31 July 2006, the Australian Government offered $25 million towards upgrading the intersection of Whitehorse Road and Springvale Road in Victoria. Funds were transferred from AusLink to a separate administered item in February 2007.

The offer was conditional on the Victorian Government contributing the balance of the project cost and construction commencing as soon as possible. An initial $1.5 million is available to the City of Whitehorse to enable the city council to undertake a detailed feasibility analysis of the identified options and prepare a business case for the most appropriate option.

In 2006-07 the Whitehorse City Council engaged Maunsell Australia Pty Ltd to undertake a comprehensive options and feasibility analysis. The Department manages the funding agreement with the council.

Quantity/Location

A preferred option for addressing the problems is agreed

An intersection upgrade is expected to ease congestion issues associated with the Whitehorse-Springvale road intersection and with the Belgrave-Lilydale rail line, which is in close proximity to the intersection.

Cost

$2.0 million

The actual cost of this programme in 2006-07 was nil.

Underspend is due to delays in finalising the funding agreement with the City of Whitehorse.

Overall performance

Outlook-Output 1.3.1-AusLink

Effectively delivering existing programmes

The reliability of cost estimates for individual projects can threaten overall delivery. A report prepared for the Department by Evans and Peck in 2006-07 indicates that the costs of a number of Queensland projects exceeded their estimates because of inadequate scope, overoptimism about the risks involved or failure to recognise likely cost escalation. The same issues face all jurisdictions, and the Department proposes to engage with all states and territories in a process to improve the reliability of cost estimates during 2007-08.

Developing AusLink 2

On behalf of government the Department has commenced developing arrangements for AusLink 2, including identifying new road and rail projects which might be funded from 2009 to 2014.

Allied to the costing issue is the need to develop greater definition around individual major construction projects for inclusion in the National Network programme. The Department will work to negotiate funding shares with each jurisdiction and establish overall priorities for consideration by the Australian Government, drawing from corridor strategies that have been developed jointly with relevant state and territory governments.

Reviewing AusLink agreements

AusLink arrangements between the Australian Government and the state and territory governments expire in June 2009, at the completion of the current five-year programme. AusLink 2 agreements will be developed during 2007-08.

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