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Massive Boost For New South Wales Land Transport

Australian Coat of Arms

The Hon John Anderson MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Leader of The Nationals
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
Senator the Hon Ian Campbell
Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads

TRS2/Budget 11 May 2004

The Australian Government has allocated $708.1 million in the 2004-05 Budget for the New South Wales land transport system, with more to come when the Government releases its new land transport plan, AusLink, next month, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, and the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

"The Government has today announced $11.4 billion in funding to transform the way Australia plans and funds its roads and railways. It consists of almost $11 billion in road and rail funding over the next five years and a one-off, $450 million grant in 2003-04 for investment in the rail system," Mr Anderson said.

"The Government will release a detailed policy statement, or White Paper, on AusLink next month. It will set out the new AusLink National Network, which will incorporate the National Highway system and many Roads of National Importance into a broader and more strategic network of transport corridors, including Australia's key rail links.

"The White Paper will include a series of major new land transport projects beyond the ones detailed in today's Budget. The new projects will improve the safety of Australia's major highways, and make it quicker and cheaper to transport freight around the country. They will include major new projects in New South Wales," he said.

The funding for the new projects in New South Wales will be in addition to the $708.1 million allocation. The funding for the new projects is a separate component within the Government's total land transport commitment, $11.4 billion. See the AusLink factsheet in this kit for further details.

Continuing projects

The Government is continuing to fund critical projects across New South Wales, in addition to the major new land transport projects that will be announced in the AusLink White Paper.

Sydney urban links

Mr Anderson said the Australian Government would invest $71.0 million in 2004-05 as part of its $356.0 million indexed contribution to the Western Sydney Orbital, which will connect the Hume Highway at The Crossroads, near Liverpool, to the M2 at Baulkham Hills.

"The Western Sydney Orbital will enable traffic to avoid 56 sets of traffic lights on the existing National Highway route along the Cumberland Highway, and will greatly improve access from Port Botany to the industrial areas of western Sydney," Mr Anderson said.

"The 2004-05 Budget also includes $2 million in 2004-05 so we can continue the preliminary work on the proposed link road between the Sydney Orbital and the F3."

Sydney-Melbourne corridor

The Sydney-Melbourne corridor consists of the Hume Highway and the interstate railway line. It is the busiest corridor in Australia for both freight and passenger movements.

"The Government's long-term objective is to provide a continuous four-lane standard road along the whole Hume Highway. We will be announcing a series of major new projects on Australia's key transport corridors next month," Mr Anderson said.

F5 access ramps

"The Government will spend $5 million in 2004-05 to continue building the additional access ramps on the F5 between Casula and Campbelltown. We are funding the project in partnership with the Campbelltown City Council, which is providing one third of the project cost of $12.0 million.

"The F5 access ramps are a splendid example of how AusLink can work across the whole country. The Campbelltown City Council deserves immense credit for recognising the local transport needs of their community and working with us to deal with them," Mr Anderson said.

The Government has also offered to contribute $1.1 million as a 50 percent contribution towards the cost of a pedestrian bridge over the Hume Highway to link the suburbs of Claymore and Woodbine.

"We would expect the New South Wales Government and the Campbelltown City Council to contribute the remainder of the $2.2 million cost. We have put the offer to New South Wales and are awaiting its response," Mr Anderson said.

Towrang/Carrick access upgrade

"North of Goulburn, the Australian Government will spend $5.5 million over the next two years to make it easier for traffic from the Towrang and Carrick hamlets to turn onto the southbound lanes of the Hume Highway.

"The current proposal is to widen the highway and install traffic islands to separate the fast moving through traffic on the highway from the turning traffic. It is also proposed to extend the acceleration and deceleration lanes.

"The Government will spend $500,000 in 2004-05 to plan and assess the proposed upgrade, with the remainder of the funding allocated in 2005-06.

North Gundagai flyover

"Further south, the Government will fund a new flyover in Gundagai to replace the junction of West Street and the Hume Highway. It has been the scene of 12 crashes, including two involving deaths, in the past five years.

"The Government has committed $5.0 million to the project in 2004-05, and a further $1.0 million in 2005-06. Construction will start as soon as the design is finalised and the necessary environmental clearances are obtained.

Tarcutta truck stop

"The Government will contribute $3.0 million in 2004-05 toward the cost of an in-town truck stop at Tarcutta. The new facility will be located off Hay Street in the town's commercial centre, and will have parking for 40 large rigs. The New South Wales Government will meet the remainder of the estimated cost of $6.0 million.

Albury-Wodonga upgrade

"The Government will spend $70.0 million in 2004-05 on upgrading the Hume Highway through Albury-Wodonga - $41.0 million in New South Wales and $29.0 million in Victoria. In total, the Australian Government is contributing $402.0 million towards the $408.0 million cost of the upgrade.

"The upgrade will involve constructing a four-lane, freeway standard road with flyovers and elevated interchanges to connect it to the local road network. It will have six lanes between Bridge Street and Borella Road to make lane changing easier.

"The upgrade will include a second crossing of the Murray River, which has long been sought by the residents of Albury and Wodonga. It will also enable drivers to avoid the numerous traffic lights on the current highway route.

"The project also provides a connection between the new road and the Murray Valley Highway," Mr Anderson said.

Sydney-Brisbane corridor

Widening the F3

Mr Anderson said the Government would provide $2.0 million in 2004-05 to complete the current widening of the F3 between the Hawkesbury River and Calga.

"The F3 carries some of the highest traffic volumes in Australia in a high speed environment through difficult terrain. The $2.0 million investment in 2004-05 will complete our commitment to widening this section of the freeway," he said.

Weakleys Drive interchange

"In 2004-05, we will spend $1.5 million to continue planning and environment work on the $25.0 million Weakleys Drive interchange on the New England Highway, which we announced in the 2003-04 Budget.

"Three options for improving the intersection will go on display soon. We expect to determine a preferred option by the end of 2004, with the project going to tender in the second half of 2005.

Halcombe Hill

"The Government will spend $5.0 million in 2004-05 on a two-stage plan to upgrade the Halcombe Hill section of the New England Highway, 10 kilometres south of Scone. Halcombe Hill was the site of a crash in October 2003 when four members of the same family lost their lives.

"We are spending $1.3 million on the project in 2003-04, which will result in the installation of a median barrier and provide a safer off-road environment should vehicles lose control on the curve. These first stage works should be completed in August 2004.

"We will spend $5.0 million on the project in 2004-05 and a further $10.0 million in 2005-06 to provide a longer term solution, which could involve the construction of a 1.2 kilometre deviation and a new three-lane bridge over the railway line," Mr Anderson said.

Duval Creek realignment

Mr Anderson said the Government would spend $3.6 million in 2004-05 to continue work on realigning the New England Highway and constructing a new bridge over Duval Creek, 12 kilometres north of Armidale.

"The $8.8 million project involves replacing the existing narrow bridge over Duval Creek with a new, wider concrete crossing and realigning a small section of the route. The existing bridge will be retained and used as a stock crossing. In addition, a northbound overtaking lane will be provided, together with improvements to the intersection of Newholme and McCannas roads," Mr Anderson said.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2004.

Devil's Pinch realignment

Mr Anderson said the Government would spend $15.0 million in 2004-05 to continue realigning the New England Highway at Devils Pinch, 30 kilometres north of Armidale.

"The realignment involves a 3.3 kilometre highway upgrade from just north of the bridge over Tilbuster Ponds to just south of the intersection where Black Mountain Road meets the highway, bypassing an unstable landslip area. We have earmarked a further $4.0 million for the project in 2005-06 as construction continues," he said.

Pacific Highway upgrade

Mr Anderson said the Government had allocated $93.2 million in the 2004-05 Budget to continue upgrading the Pacific Highway, which is one of Australia's key transport corridors. The Government will be announcing a series of major land transport projects on Australia's key transport corridors next month.

"The Government is on track to spend an indexed sum of $600.0 million by 2006 as our contribution to upgrading the Pacific Highway in New South Wales. In 2004-05, our funding will go towards work on:

  • the Karuah bypass, north of Newcastle, which will provide 9.8 kilometres of high quality, four-lane motorway from the completed Raymond Terrace to Karuah upgrade to the Karuah to Bulahdelah upgrade (currently under development). The construction of the bypass began in June 2002 and is expected to be completed in late 2004.

  • Karuah to Bulahdelah Section One, which involves the construction of 11 kilometres of dual carriageway in the Great Lakes region. The construction of this project should start towards the end of 2004.

  • Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush, which involves the duplication of about 9.7 kilometres of the highway south of Taree, and will include pedestrian underpasses, new twin bridges over the Wallamba River and an overpass at Nabiac.

  • The final stage of the construction of the 7.2 kilometre section of highway from the Taree bypass to the Coopernook bypass. The contract was let in January 2004, and it is expected that the project will be completed by 2006.

  • The construction of an 8.6 kilometre four lane divided highway between Brunswick Heads and Yelgun. The project has now gone through a long and rigorous planning approval process. Construction should commence in December 2004 and be completed by late 2006."

Sydney-Adelaide corridor

Balranald bridges

Mr Anderson said the Government would spend $5.0 million in 2004-05 to continue work on widening and strengthening the bridges that carry the Sturt Highway across the Murrumbidgee River at Balranald.

"The existing three bridges were built in 1955, with a deck width of just 6.7 metres between the traffic barriers. The widening and strengthening works will bring them to a modern standard, capable of handling the road trains and heavy transport vehicles that are increasingly using this corridor between Sydney and Adelaide," he said.

The project is one of the package works that the Government is carrying out on the Sturt, Newell and New England highways at a total cost of $24.3 million in 2004-05. The package works are series of small, but significant, safety and other works aimed at improving the standard of inadequate sections of the highway to that of the sections on either side. This provides consistent driving conditions for motorists, a key factor in improving safety.

Melbourne-Brisbane corridor

Moree bypass

Mr Anderson said the Budget included $20.0 million in 2004-05 for the Moree heavy vehicle bypass, which would enable substantial construction to go ahead once planning approval from New South Wales was received.

"The bypass will divert approximately 1,145 heavy vehicles from the main street of Moree during an average day - a 90 percent reduction on the current volume," he said.

Bogan-Coobang upgrade

"The Government will also upgrade about 10 kilometres of the Newell Highway from 3.6 kilometres north of Parkes, starting just past the Bogan Road intersection. The road is poorly aligned and has a poor pavement. We have allocated $1.5 million in 2004-05 for pre-construction work on the upgrade, with a further $16.0 million allocated in 2005-06.

Ardlethan realignment

"The Government will improve the reliability, safety and flood immunity of the Newell Highway at Ardlethan, north of Narrandera, with an $11.0 million injection of funds into the road. The Government will spend $8.0 million on the project in
2004-05, which will incorporate a new, high level bridge over Mirrool Creek," Mr Anderson said.

The realignment is part of the package works programme for the Sturt, Newell and New England highways.

Other transport links

Alstonville bypass

Mr Anderson said the Budget included $9.0 million in 2004-05 toward the $12 million Australian Government contribution to the Alstonville bypass on the Bruxner Highway.

"The New South Wales Government is funding the balance of the cost of the bypass, which is currently estimated to be $36.0 million. The two-lane bypass, including passing lanes, will extend from the tropical fruit research station at Perrys Hill, east of Alstonville, to Sneaths Road, Wollongbar. Construction is expected to start soon, and it is due to open in June 2006," he said.

Bucketts Way

"Bucketts Way will receive a further $6.5 million in 2004-05, as the latest instalment in the $20.0 million upgrade of the 158 kilometre road. It connects Raymond Terrace, north of Newcastle, with Taree along an inland route.

"The upgrade will improve access to Stroud and Gloucester, and encourage its use as an alternative route to the Pacific Highway, particularly for tourists," Mr Anderson said.

Dixons-Long Point Road

Mr Anderson said the Budget included $1.0 million in 2004-05 out of a total $3.0 million commitment toward the cost of a new bridge and approaches over the Macquarie River along the Dixons-Long Point Road, linking Orange and Mudgee.

"The Australian Government will continue to press New South Wales to match our funding," he said.

Summerland Way

"The Government will also spend $2.4 million in 2004-05 to complete its commitment to the upgrading of the Summerland Way between Grafton and Woodenbong in northern New South Wales. We pledged $20.0 million toward the road in 1996, and have funded bridge upgrades, flood immunity works, overtaking lanes and some rehabilitation.

Deringulla Bridge

"The 2004-05 Budget confirms our $600,000 offer to meet half the cost of a new Deringulla Bridge over the Castlereagh River, near Coonabarabran. The bridge will support the long-term viability of the Bungabah Meats Company and protect the jobs of its workers.

"The agricultural sector, a local sawmill and the communities of Murrawal and Binnaway will also have better, more reliable access to Coonabarabran when the old 1937 timber bridge is replaced with a higher structure capable of handling B-double transports," he said.

Main Road 92

Mr Anderson said the Government had allocated $8 million in 2004-05 towards its $34 million commitment to help upgrade Main Road 92, which links Nowra and Nerriga in south east New South Wales.

"The first section of the upgrade, from the intersection of Albatross Road and Braidwood Road to Hames Road, near Nowra, has been completed. We are now awaiting New South Wales Government planning approval for the remaining 54 kilometres of the project. Depending on when planning approval is given, construction could should start in early 2005," Mr Anderson said.

The total cost of the project is $80.0 million, with the New South Wales Government contributing $34.0 million and the Shoalhaven City Council a further $12 million.

Murray River Bridges

Mr Anderson said the Government had allocated $22.5 million in 2004-05 for the Murray River Bridges project, which involves the construction of new bridges across the Murray River at Echuca, Corowa and Robinvale. The Victorian Government is managing the Echuca project and will receive $10.5 million; the remainder will go to New South Wales for the Corowa and Robinvale bridges.

"The Government has committed a total of $44.0 million from the Federation Fund to help New South Wales and Victoria build the new bridges," Mr Anderson said.

"The Federation Bridge at Corowa is expected to be open to traffic in the second half of 2004; the Robinvale Bridge is expected to be open by mid-2006. The construction of the Echuca Bridge has been delayed due to complex planning issues on the selected route.

More spending on local roads

Senator Campbell said the Budget confirmed the Government's decision to extend the Roads to Recovery programme for another four years, from 2005-06 until 2008-09. The decision will inject $1.2 billion into local roads throughout Australia, in addition to the $253.1 million that will be spent on the existing programme in 2004-05.

"The Roads to Recovery programme is the largest capital injection by any Australian Government into local roads. It is funding 12,000 local road projects throughout Australia, and has been particularly important in regional areas, where councils have to maintain enormous road networks with limited resources," Senator Campbell said.

"New South Wales will receive $70.8 million under the Roads to Recovery programme in 2004-05, and $136.7 million in untied local road grants."

Saving lives with the Black Spot Programme

Senator Campbell said that New South Wales would receive $14.3 million in 2004-05 under the Road Safety Black Spot programme. It provides funding to improve dangerous accident locations on Australia's roads.

"The programme is estimated to prevent around 500 serious crashes a year throughout Australia. The 2004-05 funding will improve 93 dangerous black spots on New South Wales roads," he said

Media contacts:

Paul Chamberlain Deputy Prime Minister's office 02 62777680 / 0419 233989
Wayne Grant Senator Campbell's office 02 62777060 / 0407 845280


Australian Government land transport funding, NSW, 2004-05

Continuing land transport projects (1) 474.3
Roads to Recovery 70.8
Untied local road grants 136.7
Black Spot programme 14.3
Murray River bridges (2) 12.0
Total 708.1

The figures in this table update the tables in Budget Paper No. 3. The figures may not add precisely to the total due to rounding.
(1) Does not include new AusLink projects, which will be announced in June.
(2) Funded from the Federation Fund.