$120 Million In The Budget For The Tugun Bypass
|JOINT MEDIA RELEASE|
|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
|TRS4/Budget||11 May 2004|
Today’s Budget includes $120.0 million for the Tugun bypass in 2006–07 and 2007–08, and it is now time for the Queensland Government to settle its route with New South Wales, 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 Australian Government is committed to funding our share of the Tugun bypass, because the Gold Coast Highway is now congested and slow. The Budget shows we are standing ready to contribute $120.0 million to the bypass - but it will only go ahead when Queensland and New South Wales agree on a route for a full bypass," Mr Anderson said.
The Australian Government has allocated $343.3 million in the 2004–05 Budget for Queensland land transport infrastructure, with more to come when the Government releases its new land transport plan, AusLink, next month. The announcement will include a series of major new 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 Queensland," Mr Anderson said.
The funding for the new projects in Queensland will be in addition to the $343.3 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.
The Government is continuing to fund critical projects across Queensland, in addition to the major new land transport projects that will be announced in the AusLink White Paper.
The Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, said the Budget included $120.0 million for the Tugun bypass in 2006–07 and 2007–08, but that it could not go ahead until Queensland and New South Wales agreed on the route for a full bypass.
"Our funding for the Tugun bypass is on the table, as promised. All that Peter Beattie and Bob Carr have to do is to sort out the route, and we are doing everything we can to encourage them to reach the right agreement," Mr Anderson said.
Eight Mile intersection and Kellys Hill upgrade
Senator Campbell said the Government would spend $250,000 in 2004–05 to continue planning the new Eight Mile intersection, at the junction of the New England and Cunningham Highways.
"We have budgeted $4.0 million in 2005–06 to construct the new intersection and eliminate its tight curves and poor sight lines. The highway junction is located 13 kilometres, or eight miles, north of Warwick, and has been the site of at least 87 crashes since 1983," Mr Anderson said.
"Meanwhile, improvements to the Kellys Hill blackspot, on the New England Highway north of Warwick will start soon. This location has been the scene of several accidents over the years, including a recent fatal crash.
"The $4.0 million Kellys Hill upgrade — funded fully by the Australian Government — will include road widening, intersection improvements and the lengthening of the existing overtaking lanes.
"The project will extend almost three kilometres between Harts Gully and the Crusher Road intersection. In addition to the widening and an improvement to the road surface, the intersections at Allens Road and Jensens Road will be upgraded to provide safer turning opportunities."
Senator Campbell said the Government would spend $700,000 in 2004–05 to continue rehabilitating the Goondiwindi bypass. The project involves relocating the overhead lights from the middle to the side of the road, stabilisation and the replacement of part of its foundations.
The upgrade is part of the Government’s strategic corridor programme, which totals $40 million in 2004–05. The strategic corridor programme is a 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.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government would spend $4.7 million from the Federation Fund in 2004–05 to continue widening the Caboolture Motorway to six and eight lanes north of Brisbane. The Government has budgeted to spend around $75.0 million on the project.
"The widening from Dohles Rocks Road to Boundary Road, Burpengary, should be completed in the latter part of 2004. More than $7.4 million has been spent on planning, design and land purchases along the route of the widening to Uhlmann Road. Contracts could be called before the end of the year, allowing it to be completed by late 2005," he said.
"The Government recognises the need for an integrated strategy that addresses short, medium and long term traffic management needs for the Bruce Highway south and in the vicinity of Gympie.
"We have allocated $3.2 million in 2004–05 to complete a $4.3 million study into the strategic needs of the highway over a 65 kilometre corridor from Cooroy to Curra, north of Gympie.
"The study will investigate the possibility of building a Gympie bypass, as well as interim works to upgrade the existing highway through Gympie."
Mr Anderson said the Government would spend a final $1.0 million in 2004–05 to complete the 6.8 kilometre upgrade of the Bruce Highway south of Maryborough. The total cost of the project will be $10.0 million.
"The existing approach to the Maryborough turnoff was narrow and in poor condition. We have almost finished widening the road and building northbound and southbound overtaking lanes. The project should be open to traffic in late August this year.
Isis Highway intersection
"The Government has also allocated $3.0 million in 2004–05 to replace the Apple Tree Creek intersection of the Bruce and Isis highways, near Bundaberg. The new intersection will feature a 55 metre flyover, so northbound traffic on the Bruce Highway can turn safely on to the Isis Highway.
"The design work will be completed in July, and the successful contractor is likely to start work in January 2005.
Burdekin Safety Works
Senator Campbell said the Government would spend $5.7 million in 2004–05 to continue its safety upgrade of the Bruce Highway through Ayr, Brandon and Home Hill, south of Townsville. The Government will spend around $1.3 million on the project in 2003–04.
"Work will start soon on a series of traffic and safety improvements that were identified in the recent safety audit, including pedestrian crossings at several locations, roundabouts at key intersections and changed turning arrangements," Senator Campbell said.
"There will be further improvements to traffic management on the Burdekin River bridge, including traffic lights and variable message signs to inform motorists about traffic conditions.
"These works build on our other safety projects in the Burdekin Region, such as the installation of the roundabout at the Burke Street intersection and the improved pedestrian crossing opposite the St Francis Primary School in Ayr."
Cairns southern access
Mr Anderson said the Government would spend $6.5 million in 2004–05 to continue widening the Bruce Highway to six lanes south of Cairns.
"The funding will complete the widening of the highway between Sheehy Road and Foster Road, with better intersections at Foster Road and Coombes Street, and a left-turn lane from Robert Road onto the highway," Mr Anderson said.
The highway widening should be complete by Christmas 2004.
Senator Campbell said the Government would spend $24.0 million in 2004–05 for work on the $66.0 million Ipswich Motorway upgrade.
"Work on the safety improvements will start soon, with substantial construction on several projects under way by August. The upgrade is expected to be completed by mid-2006," he said.
"One of the causes of the traffic congestion on the motorway is the short length of the merge lanes at the east and west interchanges with the Logan motorway. The funding will extend the merge lanes by a further 1.8 kilometres on the eastbound side of the motorway and by one kilometre on the westbound side.
"The motorway will become the first stretch of Queensland highway to be controlled by a computerised traffic management system that integrates closed circuit television, traffic metering devices and variable speed signs.
"The system will adjust the flow of merging traffic according to road conditions and will enable the operating staff to spot crashes and respond instantly. In addition, the motorway speed signs will be capable of displaying variable maximum speeds, to slow traffic down when it is necessary to clear congestion.
"Any further upgrade of the motorway beyond the safety works will be considered in the context of the Government’s new national land transport plan, AusLink.
"The Queensland Government’s proposal to widen the motorway to six lanes would cost about $700.0 million. The Australian Government acknowledges that the growth in southeast Queensland is driving up vehicle numbers on the motorway. All the options for traffic relief need to be considered, including the analysis of a bypass, or northern option, that could be built without disrupting the traffic on the motorway. The northern options study is due to be completed by the end of 2005," Senator Campbell said.
Plainland Road intersection
Mr Anderson said the Government would spend $3.0 million in 2004–05 to start work on a $12.0 million overpass at the intersection of Plainland Road and the Warrego Highway, west of Ipswich.
"The intersection has recorded more than 40 crashes since 1984, including four fatalities. Most of them involved side road traffic attempting to cross the highway traffic or merge into it, so the overpass will make the intersection much safer. Work is due to start in October 2004 and should be completed in 2005–06," Mr Anderson said.
"The Government has also allocated $3.0 million in 2004–05 to continue planning and land purchases along the route of the proposed highway upgrade at Toowoomba. The additional funding will enable most of the land needed to preserve a road corridor to be bought. To date, the Government has spent more than $25.0 million on planning and land purchases.
"The future need for an additional range crossing is highlighted by projections showing that traffic volumes on the interstate highways through Toowoomba will double during the next 15 years.
Widening the Warrego Highway near Dalby
"Further to the west, the Government will spend $5.0 million in 2004–05 to continue the progressive reconstruction and widening of the Warrego Highway over a 30 kilometre section between Bowenville and Dalby. The road surface there is broken and worn, partly because of the pliable blacksoil of the region.
And resealing it through Miles
"The Government has allocated $1.3 million in 2004–05 to reseal a 2.5 kilometre stretch of Murilla Street and the Warrego Highway through Miles, because the surface is deteriorating. The resealing work will be carried out from near the racecourse to the railway crossing west of town. The total cost of project will be $1.7 million.
Widening the Landsborough Highway
"Far to the northwest, the Government will spend $1.5 million in 2004–05 to start work on a $5.0 million project to widen and rehabilitate a number of sections of the Landsborough Highway between Kynuna and Cloncurry," Mr Anderson said.
These three projects are all part of the Government’s $40 million Strategic Corridor Programme.
Senator Campbell said the Government would spend $23.0 million in 2004–05 to replace the Barkly Highway bridges over the Johnson and Nowraine creeks, together with realigning about 30 kilometres of the highway. In addition, a further $2.8 million in 2004–05 would allow planning to proceed towards replacing several other bridges nearby.
"The Johnson Creek project includes three new bridges and 19 kilometres of upgrading to two lanes; the Nowraine Creek project involves two bridges and 11 kilometres of roadworks. Tenders for the bridges are expected to be called by the end of June, and they should be completed by late 2005," Senator Campbell said.
The Inca Bridge project has been delayed by negotiations between the Queensland Government and the local Indigenous community.
Other transport links
Douglas Arterial Road
Senator Campbell said the Government had now met its commitment to contribute $37.4 million to the cost of the Douglas Arterial Road in Townsville, which includes a new bridge across the Ross River. The project should be completed by December 2004.
Peninsula Development Road
Mr Anderson said the Government would spend $3.2 million in 2004–05 to continue upgrading one of the worst sections of the Peninsula Development Road, between Split Rock and Laura. The Government has committed a total of $5.0 million to the upgrade.
"In 2004–05, a further 7.3 kilometres of the road south of Laura will be reconstructed and sealed, which will improve its safety and result in higher travel speeds. Design work is underway to seal a second section, south of Kennedy Creek, and this project is expected to be completed by mid-2005," Mr Anderson said.
Bundaberg Port Access Road
"The Government will provide $1.0 million in 2004–05 towards the development of a road link between the Port of Bundaberg and the Burnett Heads region. The connection will result in better access to the port and the major projects that are in development there. It will also have a positive effect on tourism in the area.
Gladstone Port Access Road
"We will also spend $1.0 million in 2004–05 to complete our contribution to the Gladstone Port Access Road, which will remove about 500 vehicles a day from the centre of Gladstone and cater to the projected traffic growth as the port expands.
"The new port access road will be a major addition to the region’s transport infrastructure and will support its plans for continued industrial expansion. The construction work is on schedule and should be completed by Christmas 2004," Mr Anderson said.
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.
"Queensland will receive $52.1 million under the Roads to Recovery programme in 2004–05, and $88.3 million in untied local road grants."
Saving lives with the Black Spot Programme
Mr Anderson said that Queensland would receive $8.9 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 an estimated 80 dangerous black spots on Queensland’s roads."
|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, Queensland, 2004–05
|Continuing land transport projects (1)||189.3|
|Roads to Recovery||52.1|
|Untied local road grants||88.3|
|Black Spot programme||8.9|
|Caboolture Motorway (2)||4.7|
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 the major new AusLink projects, which will be announced in June.
(2) Funded from the Federation Fund.