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AusLink commitment now $15 billion following $2.4 billion boost for road and rail

Minister for Transport and Regional Services - Warren Truss
001TRS/Budget 9 May 2006

The Australian Government will provide an extra $2.4 billion for roads and rail projects (in 2005-06), bringing to $15.0 billion its total funding commitment to land transport including AusLink, the National Land Transport Plan, for 2004-05 to 2008-09.

The Australian Government Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss said an injection of $2.4 billion will be paid to states, territories and local councils and the Australian Rail Track Corporation this financial year in recognition of the critical importance of transport infrastructure to the nation and is available to be spent immediately.

"This money is delivering on the Australian Government's strategic long-term vision to fund priority projects that support nation building. In implementing AusLink, we are moving Australia from a parochial and ad-hoc system for funding roads and railways towards a national plan that all governments and industry can support," he said.


Highlights of the additional funding include:

  • $800.0 million for the Hume Highway duplication to allow all but three short sections of the highway totalling 20 km to be converted to four lanes by the end of 2009;
  • $160.0 million extra for the Pacific Highway in New South Wales, to be matched by the New South Wales Government, increasing to $1.3 billion the new joint programme of works for duplicating the Sydney-Brisbane coastal highway;
  • a further $48.0 million to be added to the $80.0 million already allocated for flood immunity works on the Bruce Highway at Tully and $220.0 million for a range of improvements to the highway between Townsville and Cairns. This will enable the highway to withstand better the tests of nature, such as heavy rains and cyclones;
  • $323.0 million to Western Australia's Great Northern, Great Eastern and Eyre highways. The upgrades will make the roads wider and safer - suitable to the mining industry and other heavy vehicle traffic they carry;
  • $100.00 million to South Australia for upgrading the Sturt Highway between Gawler and Nurioopta to better serve movement of freight between the Riverlands and the Port of Adelaide;
  • $60.0 million to Tasmania to rehabilitate and widen the East Tamar Highway linking Launceston and Bell Bay;
  • $30.0 million to bring forward additional construction on flood mitigation works for the Victoria Highway across the Victoria River floodplain in the Northern Territory, to better enable it to withstand the tests of nature, including heavy seasonal rains or events such as Cyclone Monica;
  • $270.0 million extra to the Australian Rail Track Corporation to invest in the interstate rail network to allow heavier freight trains to operate faster and increase their competitiveness with road transport, on the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane corridor.

In addition to these amounts, Mr Truss said the Australian Government would provide an extra one-off $307.5 million in 2005-06 to local, state and territory governments for investing in local roads.

"The share of funding each council receives is the same as applies already under the Roads to Recovery Programme and, in effect, doubles the amount of money the Australian Government is making available for local road improvements in 2005-06.

"It is available to be spent in the period to June 2009, together with the normal Roads to Recovery allocation councils receive. All projects for this funding will be selected by councils," Mr Truss said.

Media contacts:
Mr Truss' office - Kylie Butler 02 6277 7680 / 0417 652 488