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Massive Funding Boost For Tasmanian 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

TRS7/Budget 11 May 2004

The Australian Government will spend $63.3 million on Tasmania's land transport system in 2004-05, with more to come when the Government releases its new land transport plan, AusLink, in June.

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, made the announcement 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 new funding in Tasmania," he said.

The new funding in Tasmania will be in addition to the $63.3 million allocation. The funding for the new projects is a separate component within the Government's total land transport funding 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 Tasmania, in addition to the major new land transport project that will be announced in the AusLink White Paper.

Bridgewater Bridge

Senator Campbell reconfirmed that the Government would contribute $100.0 million to the upgrade of the Bridgewater Bridge, including $5.0 million for further planning work in 2004-05.

"It will be a project of immense significance to Tasmania, and the Australian Government regards extensive public consultation as essential in taking the project forward," Senator Campbell said.

Penguin-Ulverstone Duplication (stage one)

Senator Campbell said the Government would spend $12.0 million in 2004-05 on stage one of the duplication of the Bass Highway to four lanes between Penguin and Ulverstone. The Government has committed a total of $28.5 million to the project.

"Tenders for stage one will be called in June, and construction is expected to start in October. It will include a new West Ulverstone interchange at the South Road/Knights Road junction.

"New, high-clearance bridges will be built at Knights Road, Batten Park and South Road. Three underpasses have been incorporated into the design, at South Road, Abattoir Road and Knights Road, where an improved design will extend motorists' visibility while merging with Bass Highway traffic.

"Approximately 250,000 cubic metres of waste rock will be used to convert an old tip adjacent to the Leven River into a park, with an amphitheatre for spectators around the cricket ground."

Bass and Midland Highway intersections

Senator Campbell said the Government was concerned about safety on the Bass and Midland highways, because of their numerous intersections with local roads serving farming communities and towns.

"We have committed $700,000 in 2004-05 to improve the worst of these intersections at several locations along the highways," he said.

Other transport links

Senator Campbell said the Government had agreed to contribute up to $10.0 million to the cost of upgrading the Lilydale Main Road/Golconda Road, between Rocherlea, Lilydale and Scottsdale in Tasmania's northeast, on a cost share basis with the Tasmanian Government. The Government has allocated $3.6 million to the project in 2004-05.

"The upgrade of the route through Lilydale was completed in March, including traffic islands and improved parking opportunities. The next stage involves the replacement of several timber bridges," he said.

More spending on local roads

The Deputy Prime Minister said that good local road connections to main roads and highways were critical to the Tasmanian economy and important in providing access to services.

"The Budget confirms 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," Mr Anderson said.

"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.

"Tasmanian councils will receive $8.3 million under the Roads to Recovery programme in 2004-05 and $25.0 million in untied local road grants."

Saving lives with the Black Spot Programme

Senator Campbell said that Tasmania would receive $1.1 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 21 dangerous black spots on Tasmanian 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, Tasmania, 2004-05

Continuing land transport projects (1) 29.0
Roads to Recovery 8.3
Untied local road grants 25.0
Black Spot programme 1.1
Total 63.3

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.