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Building Australia's National Transport Future

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Transport and Regional Services Portfolio

TRS1/Budget 10th May 2005

The Australian Government will spend $2.2 billion on the land transport system in 2005-06, with funding for the important road and rail projects that are needed to build Australia's transport future.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, and the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, made the announcement today.

"The amount of traffic on Australia's roads and railways is forecast to increase massively over the next two decades. The Government's response is AusLink, our national land transport plan," Mr Anderson said.

"The 2005-06 Budget accelerates the process of turning the AusLink White Paper into concrete, steel and bitumen on the ground. It also carries out the land transport commitments that I announced during the election campaign. The highlights of ou r 2005-06 land transport programme include:

"New South Wales ($741.1 million): The Government will spend $35.0 million in 2005-06 to accelerate work on the Coolac bypass, the last two lane section of the Hume Highway between Sydney and Gundagai. We will invest $645.7 million in the Pacific Highway between 2004-05 and 2008-09.

"Victoria ($482.8 million): The Government has allocated an extra $120.0 million to the Scoresby Freeway, in line with our election promise. The Government's total contribution to the freeway will now be $565.0 million, once the Victorian Government reverses its decision to impose tolls.

"Queensland ($415.7 million): The Budget confirms funding for important projects including the Townsville Ring Road, flood-proofing the Bruce Highway through Tully and widening it through Gympie. It reaffirms the Government's commitment to spend $627.0 million on urban links in Brisbane, including the Ipswich Motorway, and $196.0 million to complete the widening of the Caboolture Motorway.

"South Australia ($159.7 million): South Australia is receiving an extra $118.0 million in road funding over five years, in line with the Government's election promise. The extra funding includes $110.0 million to accelerate the Sturt Highway extension to provide a new northern gateway to Adelaide.

"Western Australia ($223.4 million): The Budget implements the Government's election promise to contribute an extra $20.0 million to the Peel Deviation, but the Western Australian Government must start major construction in 2006.

"Tasmania ($70.0 million): Work will begin on upgrading the Sisters Hills section of the Bass Highway in 2005-06, with a $2.3 million allocation this year from the Australian Government. The Government's total contribution will be $15.0 million; it will need to be matched by Tasmania.

"Northern Territory ($53.3 million): The Government will spend $4.6 million in 2005-06 to finish the new bridge over the Palmer River, south of Alice Springs. It will be completed by the end of the year, and will be able to cope with a once in 50 year flood. The existing bridge was a metre underwater in 1981 and 1997.

"Australian Capital Territory ($22.0 million): The Government will provide funds to upgrade the ACT's local roads, with a $5.0 million payment under the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme and $15.9 million in untied local road grants."

Mr Anderson said the Budget had a strong emphasis on improving road and rail access to Australia's ports.

"The Government will spend $110.0 million over four years, $5.0 million in 2005-06, to upgrade the links between the Dynon intermodal freight precinct and the Port of Melbourne. We will also invest $8.0 million in 2005-06 to help improve the rail links between the Kewdale intermodal precinct and the Port of Fremantle," he said.

"In Adelaide, the Government has brought forward $55.0 million to enable the Port River Expressway to be completed over the next two years."

Mr Anderson said the Government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) would invest $1.8 billion in the interstate and Hunter Valley rail systems from 2004-05 to 2008-09.

"The Budget includes funding to develop ARTC's new Advanced Train Management System and money to build a truly national communications system for the interstate rail network. It will replace the nine separate communication systems that are the electronic equivalent of the different rail gauges adopted by the Australian colonies," he said.

"The Government will invest up to $110.0 million, $5.0 million in 2005-06, to improve rail infrastructure bottlenecks on the Port Botany line and between Strathfield and Hornsby in Sydney. The work will improve transit times for freight trains and will have benefits for passenger services, too, because the separation of freight and passenger trains will enable CityRail to run more off-peak passenger services."

Mr Anderson said the Government's funding for its AusLink investment projects would be available on the condition that the states and territories signed AusLink bilateral agreements. The AusLink investment programme projects account for $1.3 billion of the $2.2 billion in land transport spending announced in this Budget.

The condition will not affect the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme, including its Strategic Regional Programme and funding for unincorporated areas, the AusLink Black Spot Programme, untied local road grants, the supplementary road funding for South Australian councils or the remaining project under the Federation Fund.

"The AusLink agreements set out a new approach to land transport planning and funding. We have to plan our transport system better, because it is the only way that Australia will be able to handle the growing traffic on our roads and railways," Mr Anderson said.

"Taxpayers will also get better value for their road funding dollars under the AusLink agreement, because it includes the National Code of Conduct for the Construction Industry - a best-practice approach to workplace relations that will increase the sector's productivity. The South Australian and Victorian Governments have already indicated their willingness to sign up to the Code."

The Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, said the Government would spend $340.6 million in 2005-06 on the AusLink Roads to Recovery programme, which has been extended until 2008-09.

"Tonight we are announcing the funding that individual local councils will receive under the programme over the next four years. Their funding has been updated to reflect the 2004-05 assessments made by the Local Government Grants Commissions in each state and the Northern Territory," he said.

"The Government will notify councils about their funding allocation; the information will also be available this evening on the Department of Transport and Regional Services website."

Mr Lloyd said the Budget implemented the Government's election promise to extend the AusLink Black Spot programme until June 2008. The programme provides funding to improve the most dangerous locations on our roads.

"The Government will spend an extra $45.0 million a year on the programme in 2006 07 and 2007-08. The Budget already includes $45.0 million for the programme in 2005-06," he said.

"The AusLink Black Spot Programme can be expected to prevent more than 1,500 serious crashes over the next three years. Our decision to extend the programme will save lives."

A summary table setting out the Australian Government's 2005-06 land transport programme is attached.

Media contacts:
Paul Chamberlin Mr Anderson's office 02 6277 7680 / 0419 233 989
Fiona Telford Mr Lloyd's office 02 6277 7060 / 0407 908 504

 

Australian Government Land Transport Infrastructure Funding, 2005-06

NSW
$m
VIC
$m
QLD
$m
WA
$m
SA
$m
TAS
$m
NT
$m
ACT
$m
Other
$m
Total
$m
AusLink National Network
480.8
291.2
248.3
96.4
92.2
27.2
31.0
0.5
6.9
1,274.4
AusLink National Projects (Rail, HML, research and technology)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
46.0
46.0
AusLink Network Sub Total 1
480.8
291.2
248.3
96.4
92.2
27.2
31.0
0.5
52.9
1,320.4
Roads to Recovery
85.0
62.5
62.5
45.0
25.0
10.0
5.0
5.0
 
300.0
Strategic Regional Programme (including unincorporated areas)
16.8
6.6
2.9
1.0
2.7
5.3
5.0
 
0.2
40.6
Roads to Recovery Sub Total
101.8
69.1
65.4
46.0
27.7
15.3
10.0
5.0
0.2
340.6
Black Spot Programme
14.3
10.4
8.9
5.0
3.5
1.1
0.7
0.6
0.5
45.0
Untied Local Road Grants
144.2
102.5
93.1
76.0
27.3
26.3
11.6
15.9
 
497.0
Supplementary funding to SA Councils
 
 
 
 
9.0
 
 
 
 
9.0
Federation Fund
 
9.5
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
9.5
Total
741.1
482.8
415.7
223.4
159.7
70.0
53.3
22.0
53.5
2,221.5

Figures may not add precisely to totals due to rounding.


Footnote

1The states and territories are required to sign AusLink bilateral agreements as a condition of receiving this funding.