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Building Our Transport Future in Western Australia

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Transport and Regional Services Portfolio

TRS6/Budget 10th May 2005

The Budget confirms that the Australian Government has kept its election promise to contribute an extra $20.0 million to the Peel Deviation - but the Western Australian Government must begin construction in 2006.

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 Government has budgeted to contribute $170.0 million to the Peel Deviation over five years, including $3.0 million in 2005-06 to continue pre-construction and planning work. The extra $20.0 million has been allocated in 2007-08.

"The Peel Deviation and Kwinana Freeway extension will provide a fast freeway link from Perth toward Bunbury, Western Australia's second city. It's badly needed, and it's time for the delays to end," Mr Anderson said.

"That's why our extra funding is available on the condition that the Western Australian Government starts construction in 2006. The state government itself has confirmed that the timetable is achievable."

AusLink Investment Programme projects

The Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, said that Government would spend $96.4 million in 2005-06 on AusLink Investment Programme projects in Western Australia. The projects include the funding for the Peel Deviation, and also:

  • $8.5 million in 2005-06 to complete the Great Eastern Highway duplication between Sawyers Valley and The Lakes;
  • $2.6 million in 2005-06 for the Clackline bypass and $6.2 million in 2005-06 for widening and reconstructing the Great Eastern Highway between Tammin and Walgoolan;
  • $15.0 million in 2005-06 for the continuing upgrading programme along 250 kilometres of the Great Northern Highway north of Perth, including widening and passing lanes between Muchea and Wubin;
  • $5.4 million in 2005-06 to replace old and flood prone bridges on the Great Northern Highway in the Kimberley; and
  • $31.7 million in 2005-06 to help maintain the AusLink Network.

"We are also investing $14.0 million, $8.0 million in 2005-06, to help improve the rail links between the Kewdale intermodal precinct and the Port of Fremantle. The project involves building a rail line directly from the Inner Harbour to the North Quay container terminals. It will cater for trains up to 600 metres long, the equivalent of 90 trucks," Mr Anderson said.

"The investment continues the Government's emphasis on building better port links. In this Budget, we are funding better links to the ports of Melbourne, Adelaide - and this one in Fremantle."

Mr Anderson said the 2005-06 funding for the Government's AusLink Investment Programme projects would be available on the condition that the Western Australian Government signed the AusLink bilateral agreement. The AusLink Investment Programme projects account for $96.4 million of the $223.4 million of land transport spending in Western Australia 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 or untied local road grants.

"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 Industry - 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 Western Australia. 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 help fund the Outback Highway, the 2,800 kilometre outback route that links Laverton in Western Australia with Winton in Queensland. The highway will be funded under the AusLink Strategic Regional Programme.

"We have committed a total of $10.0 million to the highway, and have allocated $1.0 million specifically to Western Australia in 2005-06. We are consulting with the Outback Highway Development Council about a programme of works," Mr Lloyd said.

Upgrading local roads

Mr Lloyd said Western Australian councils would receive $45.0 million in 2005-06 from the AusLink Roads to Recovery programme and $76.0 million in untied local road grants.

"The Budget confirms that we are spending $1.35 billion on extending the Roads to Recovery Programme until 2008-09. 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.

"Western Australia will receive $5.0 million from the programme in 2005-06, which will be directed to fixing 54 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 Western Australia 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

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

AUSLINK INVESTMENT PROJECTS1

Peel Deviation and Kwinana Freeway extension

The Government has committed $170.0 million under AusLink toward the cost of the 48 kilometre Peel Deviation and the 23 kilometre extension of the Kwinana Freeway. The Government has budgeted $3.0 million in 2005-06 for planning and preconstruction work.

$20.0 million of the Government's contribution is subject to the condition that construction work must begin in 2006.

Great Northern Highway upgrading

The Australian Government is spending $15.0 million in 2005-06 to continue upgrading 250 kilometres of the Great Northern Highway, north of Perth, which will bring it to a consistent standard, eliminate narrow sections and provide additional overtaking opportunities. The upgrade will enable road trains to travel 80 kilometres further south - from Wubin to Miling - before they have to be broken up to enter Perth.

The Government's funding in 2005-06 consists of:

  • $10.0 million in 2005-06 to continue widening and rehabilitating the highway from Lennard Street to Muchea. The work began in January 2004 and will be completed in 2006-07;
  • $5.0 million in 2005-06 to continue work on constructing 13 new passing lanes between Muchea and Wubin, as well a general widening, realignment and reconstruction work.

Kimberley bridges upgrading

The Great Northern Highway through the Kimberley is the only sealed road linking Western Australia and the Northern Territory, but it can be closed during the Wet for up to 25 days a year.

The solution is the Australian Government's $60.0 million Kimberley bridges programme, which has already funded several bridge upgrades, including a new high-level bridge over the Ord River. The Government will spend $5.4 million on the programme in 2005-06, as planning proceeds for upgraded crossings over the Dunham River and the Gogo floodplain.

Great Eastern Highway/Roe Highway intersection

The Government has budgeted $10.5 million in 2006-07 to meet half the cost of upgrading the intersection of the Roe and Great Eastern highways. The intersection caters for about 60,000 vehicles per day and is a major traffic congestion point. Its crash rate is almost three times the state average for intersections.

The upgrade will involve new bridges, on/off ramps and a cloverleaf interchange to eliminate the long queues of traffic travelling northbound on the Roe Highway and turning onto the Great Eastern Highway.

Sawyers Valley to The Lakes duplication

The Government has committed $35.0 million ($8.5 million in 2005-06) to duplicate 13.2 kilometres of the Great Eastern Highway between Old Sawyers Valley Road and the Chidlow to York Road.

The major construction work is underway and is expected to be completed by March 2006.

Clackline bypass and passing lanes

The Government is spending $3.0 million ($2.6 million in 2005-06) to fund the construction of a new highway deviation that will bypass Clackline and its narrow timber bridge. The Government is also funding four new passing lanes between Northam and The Lakes at a cost of $3.5 million, $1.2 million in 2005-06.

The bypass and overtaking lanes are needed because they will make the road safer and more efficient for the heavy transports that carry more than 650,000 tonnes of freight between Perth and the eastern states annually.

The Clackline bypass will be completed in 2005-06; the passing lanes should be finished the following year.

Tammin to Walgoolan upgrading

The Government is spending $42.3 million ($6.2 million in 2005-06) to realign and reconstruct 77 kilometres of the Great Eastern Highway between Tammin and Walgoolan. The highway handles a significant number of double road trains and it needs to have a stronger, wider road surface.

Work has been under way since 2002. In the second half of 2005, work will proceed on the sections of the highway between Hines Hill and Walgoolan. The works will proceed in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and could be completed as early as May 2007.

Eyre Highway widening

The Australian Government has committed $45.0 million ($15.0 million in 2005-06) to widen and reconstruct about 75 kilometres of the Eyre Highway east of Caiguna (17 kilometres) and east and west of Balladonia (58 kilometres). The road will be widened to a minimum of nine metres, with a one metre sealed shoulder and a further metre of unsealed shoulder to counter the effects of trailer swaying on road trains. The crests that inhibit the forward vision of motorists will be flattened along part of the highway. Construction of this project will start in 2005-06 and will continue into 2006-07.

Ravensthorpe nickel project roads

The Australian Government will spend $2.5 million in 2005-06 to complete the $6.5 million package of roadworks that is helping to support the development of BHP Billiton's new nickel mine.

The roads will take most of the traffic going between the new residential areas of the town to the mine site. The works include realignments where necessary, bitumen seals to make the roads wider, the construction of shoulders and new floodways. The construction work is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2005.

Rail projects

Fremantle North Quay rail access

The Australian Government has committed $14.0 million ($8.0 million in 2005-06) toward the cost of rail and port access improvements between the Port of Fremantle and the Kewdale intermodal precinct.

At present, freight trains going to the North Quay have to travel north from the Inner Harbour to the Leighton yards, and then south to North Quay. The project involves building a rail line directly from the Inner Harbour to the North Quay container terminals. It will cater for trains up to 600 metres long, the equivalent of 90 trucks.

As a result of the project, at least 15 per cent of the Port of Fremantle's Inner Harbour containers will be moved by rail within four years. It will solve major logistics issues facing the Port of Fremantle, which has seen the number of containers grow by 11 per cent a year over the past ten years.

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.

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AUSLINK STRATEGIC REGIONAL PROGRAMME

Outback Highway

The Australian Government has committed $10.0 million to upgrade priority sections of the 2,800 kilometre outback route linking Laverton in Western Australia with Winton in Queensland, via Alice Springs and the Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park. The 2005-06 allocation, $3.0 million, will be shared between Queensland ($1.0 million), the Northern Territory ($1.0 million) and Western Australia ($1.0 million).

Discussions are under way between the Department of Transport and Regional Services and the Outback Highway Development Council on a programme of works. Each project will be selected on its merits and its contribution to the development of the highway. The Western Australian, Queensland, and Northern Territory governments and local authorities will also need to contribute to the task of upgrading this link.

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LOCAL ROAD FUNDING

Western Australia's local authorities will receive $45.0 million in 2005-06 from the AusLink Roads to Recovery programme and will share in an additional $76.0 million in untied local road grants.

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AUSLINK BLACK SPOT PROGRAMME

Western Australia will receive $5.0 million in 2005-06 under the Black Spot Programme, which will be directed to fixing 54 priority crash locations.

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Footnote

1The Western Australian 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 or untied local road grants.