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Building Our Transport Future in New South Wales

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Transport and Regional Services Portfolio

TRS2/Budget 10th May 2005

The Australian Government will spend $35.0 million in 2005-06 to accelerate work on the Coolac bypass on the Hume Highway in New South Wales, in line with our election promise. It is one of the highlights of the Government's $741.1 million investment in the New South Wales land transport system in 2005-06.

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 11.5 kilometre section of the Hume Highway near Coolac is the last two lane section of highway between Sydney and Gundagai. It is a well known black spot, and is the most urgent project in the Government's plan to duplicate the highway by 2012," Mr Anderson said.

"The Budget allocates $35.0 million in 2005-06 for the Coolac bypass, which has been brought forward from 2007-08 and 2008-09 to get it completed as quickly as possible. The bypass is expected to be completed by December 2007. The Government's total commitment to the project under AusLink is $107.8 million."

AusLink Investment Programme projects

The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government would spend $480.8 million in 2005-06 on AusLink Investment Programme projects in New South Wales, including the Coolac bypass.

"We will spend $178.8 million on the Hume Highway in 2005-06, which will go towards projects like the Albury-Wodonga upgrade, the biggest single road project in regional Australia. We will also spend $1.8 million to complete the realignment of the northernmost and worst of the three curves at Kyeamba Hills."

The Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, said the Government would invest $645.7 million in the Pacific Highway from 2004-05 to 2008-09, in line with the AusLink White Paper.

"The Government will spend $40.0 million on the highway in 2005-06 to complete the current 10-year Pacific Highway agreement with New South Wales and $160.0 million in 2006-07, as the extra spending under AusLink starts to flow," Mr Lloyd said.

"The Government's objective is to complete the duplication of the Pacific Highway by 2016, in partnership with New South Wales."

Mr Lloyd said the Government's other AusLink Investment Programme projects in 2005-06 included:

  • $3.6 million in 2005-06 towards the Government's contribution of $356.0 million (indexed) to the WestLink M7, which could open as early as the end of this year;
  • further planning for the next stage of widening the F3 between Sydney and Newcastle;
  • $14.0 million in 2005-06 for planning and pre-construction work on a link road from Seahampton, west of Newcastle, to Branxton, in the Lower Hunter Valley. The Australian Government has set aside $253.2 million for this project under AusLink;
  • a $5.0 million contribution in 2005-06 to the Weakleys Drive interchange at the junction of the F3 and the New England Highway;
  • $11.6 million in 2005-06 to reconstruct 9.6 kilometres of the Newell Highway north of Parkes; and
  • $20.0 million in 2005-06 for the Moree bypass. The construction of the bypass is expected to start in 2005-06.

Mr Anderson said the 2005-06 funding for the Government's AusLink Investment Programme projects would be available on the condition that the New South Wales Government signed the AusLink bilateral agreement. These projects account for $480.8 million of the $741.1 million of land transport spending in New South Wales 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 or the remaining project under the Federation Fund.

"The AusLink agreement sets 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.

"Taxpayers will also get better value for their road funding dollars under the agreement, because it includes the National Code of Conduct for the Construction Sector - a best-practice approach to workplace relations that will increase the sector's productivity."

"The AusLink agreement is the key to building the transport future of New South Wales. I urge the state government to agree to it immediately, so the benefits of our 2005-06 funding can start to flow from the beginning of the financial year."

AusLink Strategic Regional Programme

Mr Lloyd said the Budget confirmed the Australian Government's election commitment to fund important projects in New South Wales under the AusLink Strategic Regional Programme. He said the projects were:

  • $15.0 million ($3.5 million in 2005-06) to fix safety black spots on the Princes Highway;
  • $5.0 million ($3.0 million in 2005-06) to build a new bridge on the Princes Highway over the Pambula River. The New South Wales Government is contributing funding also ;
  • $10.0 million ($3.0 million in 2005-06) to build a Batemans Bay Spine Road, which will bypass the town's congested CBD;
  • $2.5 million ($1.7 million in 2005-06) for a new access road from the Pacific Highway to the new Warnervale town centre;
  • $1.0 million in 2005-06 to upgrade the intersection of Raby Road and Camden Valley Way near Campbelltown;
  • $2.0 million ($1.0 million in 2005-06) to upgrade transport infrastructure at Bondi Beach;
  • $2.0 million ($1.0 million in 2005-06) to upgrade Lakes Way between Bulahdelah and Forster. A matching contribution is required from the New South Wales Government;
  • $8.0 million ($2.0 million in 2005-06) to improve the regional roads connecting Dungog with Raymond Terrace and Maitland. A matching contribution is required from the New South Wales Government.

Upgrading local roads

Mr Lloyd said New South Wales councils would receive $85.0 million in 2005-06 from the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme, and $144.2 million in financial assistance grants for local roads.

"The Budget confirms that we are spending $1.35 billion on extending Roads to Recovery until 2008-09 under AusLink. It's a vital funding injection that councils need to maintain their road systems," he said.

Savings more lives through the AusLink Black Spot Programme

The Budget confirms that the Australian Government has delivered on its election commitment to extend the AusLink Black Spot Programme until June 2008. The programme provides funding to improve dangerous sections of 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," Mr Lloyd said.

"New South Wales will receive $14.3 million from the programme in 2005-06, which will be directed to fixing about 115 priority crash locations. It is a key part of the national strategy to reduce Australia's road fatality rate by 40 per cent by 2010."

A detailed factsheet on the Australian Government's land transport projects in New South Wales 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

 

NEW SOUTH WALES

 

AUSLINK INVESTMENT PROJECTS1

Westlink M7

The Westlink M7 is the largest urban infrastructure project in New South Wales and the largest single project on the AusLink Network. The 40 kilometre tollway will skirt western Sydney from Prestons to West Baulkham Hills and will cost about $1.5 billion, including a $356.0 million (indexed) contribution from the Australian Government. The Government will make a $3.6 million contribution to the project in 2005-06.

The tollway has been under construction since July 2003, and could be completed as early as Christmas this year.

F3 to M2 link road

The link road from the F3 at Wahroonga to the M2 east of the Pennant Hills Road interchange will complete the AusLink Network through Sydney. The Government's preferred option for the road would involve an eight kilometre tunnel beneath Pennant Hills Road, and was the most favoured of the options displayed to the public. It will enable motorists to avoid the 22 sets of traffic signals along the existing route.

The Australian Government has committed $29.5 million to the project, with $2.0 million in 2005-06 to help fund planning and the Environmental Impact Statement. The construction timetable for the project is yet to be established.

F3 widening - stage 2

The Government is carrying out a major upgrade of the F3, by widening the freeway to six lanes to relieve key bottlenecks. The next stage, stage 2, will widen the freeway between Cowan and Mt Colah from four to six lanes - three in each direction. The work will also include a fourth lane for northbound slow vehicles at Mt Colah, and a third lane for traffic exiting to the Pacific Highway at Wahroonga.

The Government has committed $50.0 million to the stage, which will receive $2.0 million for planning in 2005-06. The Government's major expenditure on the project will occur in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Pacific Highway

The Government is spending $645.7 million on the Pacific Highway from 2004-05 to 2008-09, in line with the AusLink White Paper. The Government will spend $40.0 million on the highway in 2005-06 to complete the current 10-year agreement with New South Wales, and $160.0 million in 2006-07 as the extra spending under AusLink starts to flow.

The Government's objective is to fully duplicate the Pacific Highway by 2016, in partnership with New South Wales. The current projects on the highway are as follows:

Karuah to Bulahdelah, Section 1

Karuah to Bulahdelah section 1 is a joint Australian and New South Wales government project to build 11 kilometres of four-lane divided highway north from the Karuah bypass. The Pacific Highway in this area will carry more than 16,000 vehicles per day by 2007, and the existing road will not be up to the task. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2006.

Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush

The Australian and New South Wales governments are building 9.7 kilometres of four-lane divided highway from Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush, including a new highway intersection serving Nabiac. The existing highway in the area has narrow shoulders and a poor alignment, with few overtaking opportunities. The project should be completed in mid-2006.

Taree to Coopernook

The Australian and New South Wales governments are constructing 7.5 kilometres of new four-lane highway to connect the completed Taree bypass to the Coopernook bypass, which is under construction. The work is due to be completed in mid-2005.

Brunswick Heads to Yelgun

The Government is contributing $60.5 million to the cost of duplicating the Brunswick Heads to Yelgun section of the Pacific Highway. It is the last two two-lane section of the highway between the Queensland border and the Byron Bay turnoff. The construction contract was awarded in March 2005 and it is scheduled to open in 2007.

Hume Highway

The Government is budgeted to spend $559.0 million on the Hume Highway in New South Wales between 2004-05 and 2008-09. It will spend $178.8 million on the highway in 2005-06. Its objective is to duplicate the full length of the highway to four lanes by 2012.

F5 ramps

The Government is contributing $7.0 million ($2.8 million in 2005-06) toward the cost of two new entry and exit ramps on the F5 near Campbelltown Road. The Campbelltown City Council is contributing one third of the cost of the project. The work is expected to be completed by mid-2006.

The Government is providing $1.1 million toward the cost of building a pedestrian bridge across the Hume Highway to link the suburbs of Claymore and Woodbine.

Towrang/Carrick intersection upgrade

North of Goulburn, the Government will spend $4.9 million in 2005-06 to make it easier for traffic from Towrang and Carrick to turn onto the southbound lanes of the Hume Highway. The project will widen the highway, install traffic islands and extend the acceleration and deceleration lanes. Planning is being finalised and the project is expected to be completed in 2005-06.

Coolac bypass

Under AusLink, the Government has committed $107.8 million ($35.0 million in 2005-06) to duplicate 11.5 kilometres of the Hume Highway near Coolac, which is the last two-lane section of highway between Sydney and Gundagai. The duplication is expected to be completed by December 2007.

Tarcutta truck facility

The Government will contribute $2.6 million in 2005-06 toward the cost of the in-town truck stop at Tarcutta. It will be located off Hay Street in the town's commercial centre. The Government's total commitment is $3.0 million; New South Wales will meet the rest of the cost of this $6.0 million project. Work will start late in 2005 and be completed early in 2006.

Hume Highway safety works

The Government will spend $4.1 million in 2005-06 on important safety works on the southern Hume Highway. The funding consists of:

  • $1.8 million in 2005-06 to realign the northernmost - and worst - of the three curves at Kyeamba Hills. The Government spent $0.2 million on the project in 2004-05; and
  • $2.3 million to widen the bridge across Table Top Creek to three lanes, to match the highway on each side of the bridge. Table Top Creek has been the site of two fatal accidents in the last two years.

The Government will also fund intersection upgrades at Woomargama, Ladysmith Road at Kyeamba and the Olympic Highway north of Albury. An intersection upgrade at Mullengandra is almost complete.

Hume Highway upgrade through Albury-Wodonga

The Hume Highway upgrade through Albury-Wodonga is regional Australia's biggest single road project. The project will halve the highway travel time through Albury-Wodonga. It will bypass 17 sets of traffic lights and five right-angle bends on the existing highway corridor. It will also eliminate six railway level crossings on adjacent roads.

The Australian Government is spending $518.2 million on the project, $113.0 million in New South Wales in 2005-06. Major construction work has begun, and the project is scheduled to open in mid-2007.

New England Highway

F3 to Branxton link

The Government has committed $253.2 million to help build a new four lane highway from the F3 at Seahampton to Branxton in the Lower Hunter Valley. The highway will require 54 bridges and the movement of more than five million tonnes of earth.

The Government will contribute $14.0 million to the project in 2005-06 for planning and pre-construction activities. The New South Wales Government will have to sign the AusLink bilateral agreement as a condition of funding for this project - and all the other AusLink investment projects.

Weakleys Drive interchange

The Government has committed $25.0 million ($5.0 million in 2005-06) to construct an interchange at the intersection of the New England Highway and Weakleys Drive. The project involves a new bridge that will carry the New England Highway over the intersection of Weakleys Drive and a new road connecting to the Thornton-Beresfield Link Road.

The construction of the interchange has been delayed by the need to develop its design and to complete land purchases; however, tenders are expected to be called in mid-2006.

Halcombe Hill realignment

The Government is spending $15.2 million, $9.2 million in 2005-06, to make the New England Highway at Halcombe Hill safer. The highway at Halcombe Hill, 16 kilometres north of Muswellbrook, has a poor accident record because it has tight curves as it crosses the main northern railway.

The project will see the construction of a 1.2 kilometre deviation and a new bridge that will improve the road alignment. The Government provided $1.2 million for interim safety works at Halcombe Hill in 2004.

Devils Pinch realignment

The Devils Pinch realignment, 30 kilometres north of Armidale, will upgrade about three kilometres of narrow highway, which runs through steep terrain that is subject to landslips. The project is due to open in December 2005; the Australian Government will provide $8.2 million in 2005-06 to bring it to completion.

Newell Highway

Bogan to Coobang upgrade

The Government is spending $19.0 million, $11.6 million in 2005-06, to reconstruct and widen 9.6 kilometres of the Newell Highway north of Parkes. The work will also remove dips, crests and curves from the road that make it difficult to overtake safely. Construction is expected to start in the second half of 2005.

Ardlethan realignment

The Government is improving the safety and flood immunity of the Newell Highway at Ardlethan, north of Narrandera, by funding a three kilometre deviation of the Newell Highway. The work includes a new bridge over Mirool Creek, which will reduce the potential for the highway to be cut by floodwaters from once every five years to once every 30 years.

The Government is spending $11.2 million on the project, $6.6 million in 2005-06. It is expected to be completed in April 2006.

Wallumburrawang deviation

The Government will spend $11.5 million in 2005-06 to make the Newell Highway safer at Wallumburrawang Creek, north of Gilgandra. The highway currently has sharp twists, steep grades and few safe overtaking opportunities. The work will include a new twin arch bridge across the creek and northbound and southbound passing lanes. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2006.

Tycannah Creek floodworks

At Tycannah Creek, south of Moree, the Newell Highway is flooded on average about every six months. The water saturation weakens the road pavement and makes it costly to maintain. The Government will spend $15.8 million, $10.0 million in 2005-06 and the rest in 2006-07, to rebuild the road and provide additional drainage.

Moree bypass

Construction work on the Moree bypass is scheduled to start in 2005-06, with the Australian Government providing $20.0 million next financial year. The bypass will generally follow the western side of the railway line through town, crossing the Mehi River on a new road bridge and passing east of the racecourse. The Government's total commitment to the project is $35.0 million.

Other road projects

Alstonville bypass

The Government has committed $12.0 million toward the $36.5 million cost of the Alstonville bypass on the Bruxner Highway. The bypass will extend from the tropical fruit research station at Perrys Hill, east of Alstonville, to Sneaths Road, Wollongbar. The New South Wales Government will not be ready to start construction before 2006-07.

Bucketts Way

The Government will provide $5.9 million in 2005-06 to continue upgrading Bucketts Way, which runs from Raymond Terrace to Taree via Stroud and Gloucester. The Government's total commitment to Bucketts Way is $20.0 million.

Dixons-Long Point Road

The Government has budgeted $3.0 million ($1.0 million in 2005-06) to help build a new crossing over the Macquarie River on the Dixons-Long Point Road. The New South Wales Government has not yet matched this contribution.

Main Road 92

The Government will spend $10.0 million in 2005-06 to continue work on Main Road 92, a 55 kilometre link between Nowra and Nerriga in south-east New South Wales. The Government has committed $34.0 million to the $80.0 million cost of the upgrading.

Rail projects

Advanced Train Management System

The Australian Government will provide the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) with $20.3 million ($6.0 million in 2005 06) to develop a blueprint for its new Advanced Train Management System.

The Advanced Train Management System will include new, computerised in-cab signalling to replace the current trackside system, satellite-based location technology with an accuracy of within half a metre and a computerised warning system to alert drivers to impending dangers. The system will enable ARTC to operate more trains on the same track with a higher level of safety.

Rail communications upgrade

The Government will invest $42.0 million ($10.0 million in 2005-06) to build a fully interoperable communications system for the interstate rail network. The new communications system will be based on Telstra's Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology. It will provide a single communications medium across the whole network and will replace nine separate communication systems.

North Sydney rail corridor

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

The individual projects that will make up the investment programme between Strathfield and Hornsby are being evaluated by ARTC in conjunction with the New South Wales Government.

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AUSLINK STRATEGIC REGIONAL PROJECTS

Princes Highway safety works

The Government has committed $15.0 million, $3.5 million in 2005-06, to carry out safety projects on the Princes Highway from south of Nowra to Jervis Bay Road. The projects identified involve safety treatments to the Jervis Bay Road intersection, Parma to BTU Road, the Forest Road intersection and the Currambene Bridge. The Jervis Bay Road intersection is the most advanced, with the other works at the planning stage.

Pambula River Bridge

The Government has committed $5.0 million ($3.0 million in 2005 06) to build a new bridge on the Princes Highway over the Pambula River. The project will replace an ageing timber bridge that is subject to regular flooding with a two lane concrete structure. The new bridge is due to open by the end of 2006, with the assistance of matching funding from New South Wales.

Batemans Bay Spine Road

The Government has committed $10.0 million, $3.0 million in 2005-06, to the $17.0 million cost of a new Batemans Bay Spine Road. The road will bypass the congested central business district and open up new areas south of Surf Beach for a new business park and residential development.

New access road to Warnervale

The Government has committed $2.5 million ($1.7 million in 2005 06) to construct an access road from the Pacific Highway to the new Warnervale town centre. The funding will be applied to the cost of constructing a two-lane section from Britannia Drive, Watanobbi, to Sparks Road at Warnervale.

Camden Valley Way-Raby Road intersection

The Government will contribute $1.0 million in 2005-06 toward the cost of upgrading the intersection of Raby Road and Camden Valley Way near Campbelltown. The Government's contribution will help meet the cost of better turning lanes and traffic signals.

Bondi Beach traffic improvements

The Government has committed $2.0 million, $1.0 million in 2005-06, to upgrade transport infrastructure at Australia's iconic Bondi Beach. The funding will contribute to the resurfacing of the road behind the beach, resurfacing the pavements on the seaward side of Campbell Parade, building a new intersection at Campbell Parade and Lamrock Avenue and rebuilding the coach parking area.

Lakes Way upgrade

The Government will contribute $2.0 million, $1.0 million in 2005-06, toward upgrading Lakes Way between Bulahdelah and Forster. The upgrade will include a new footpath from the rest area near Sugar Creek Road to the Tracey Palmer Lookout. The New South Wales Government will need to match this contribution.

Raymond Terrace-Dungog and Maitland-Dungog roads

The Government will contribute $8.0 million ($2.0 million in 2005-06) to help improve the regional roads connecting Dungog with Raymond Terrace, north of Newcastle (Main Road 301) and Maitland (Main Road 101). These roads are important regional links; New South Wales will need to match the Government's contribution.

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MURRAY RIVER BRIDGES

Robinvale Bridge

The Government has contributed $17.0 million from the Federation Fund toward the $51.0 million cost of a new Murray River bridge between Euston and Robinvale, near Mildura. The bridge is expected to open in late 2006, and will replace a rickety timber bridge that is more than 100 years old.

Echuca Bridge

The Government has committed $15.0 million from the Federation Fund ($9.5 million in 2005-06) for a new bridge across the Murray River at Echuca-Moama. The balance of the project cost, $22.0 million, is being provided by the Victorian and New South Wales governments. The construction of the bridge has been delayed to due to the complex planning issues involved.

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LOCAL ROAD FUNDING

Local councils in New South Wales will receive $85.0 million in 2005-06 from the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme and $144.2 million in untied local road grants.

The unincorporated areas of New South Wales will receive $0.6 million in 2005-06 for local roads.

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AUSLINK BLACK SPOT PROGRAMME

New South Wales will receive $14.3 million in 2005-06 under the AusLink Black Spot Programme, which will be directed to fixing 115 priority crash locations.

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Footnotes

1 The New South Wales Government is required to sign an AusLink bilateral agreement as a condition of receiving funding for these AusLink projects. 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 or the remaining project under the Federation Fund.