AusLink Delivers $119.2 million for the Australian Capital Territory
|004TRS/Budget||9 May 2006|
The Australian Government has increased to $119.2 million its total land transport allocation to the Australian Capital Territory over the first five years of AusLink, the National Land Transport Plan.
Tonight's Budget delivers $22.7 million for transport projects in the Australian Capital Territory during 2006-07.
The biggest Capital Region project in the Budget is completion of planning and design, and progression of property purchases, for a bypass of Murrumbateman and duplication of the Barton Highway to four lanes between Murrumbateman and the ACT border.
The Budget includes further funding for Roads to Recovery projects, which the ACT Government has indicated will be applied to the Gungahlin Drive extension.
The ACT Government will also receive a supplementary payment for improving the connectivity of other arterial roads, equivalent to an additional one year of Roads to Recovery funding. The payment will be made in 2005-06 and the ACT Government can spend it immediately on priorities it nominates.
This extra one-off payment in 2005-06 represents an additional $5.0 million injection for local road improvements.
The Australian Government Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss, and the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, outlined the funding package for Canberra and the surrounding region today.
Mr Truss said the Murrumbateman bypass and Barton Highway duplication would receive up to $20.0 million, with $2.0 million to be made available in 2006-07 to allow construction to start after 2008-09.
"This timetable brings forward all the necessary pre-construction activity so we can clear the decks to deliver this important piece of infrastructure for the region," Mr Truss said.
"Now that the Queanbeyan heavy vehicle bypass is almost completed, the Barton Highway upgrade becomes the Australian Government's top priority for the Capital Region. It will address safety concerns and ensure greater regional connectivity between Canberra and satellite communities to the north," he said.
Investing in local roads
Mr Lloyd said the Australian Capital Territory would receive $5.0 million in 2006-07 from the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme and $16.5 million in untied Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) for local roads.
The ACT Government will have discretion in spending these sums.
"The Australian Government will maintain funding for local roads at least until 2008-09. This will help to address the backlog of local road works while also building the capabilities of regions," Mr Lloyd said.
Fixing black spot locations to save lives
The Australian Government is also delivering on its commitment to extend the AusLink Black Spot Programme until 2007-08. "The aim is to prevent an estimated 500 casualty crashes on Australia's roads in 2006-07," Mr Lloyd said.
"The programme is unique among the suite of government land transport investments in that it targets funding to the worst crash sites, usually for remedial treatments such as traffic signals, turning lanes, roundabouts and improved lighting," Mr Lloyd said.
The ACT Government will receive $602,000 from the programme in 2006-07. For every dollar outlaid on black spot solutions, the community reaps a benefit estimated at $14," he said.
A detailed factsheet on the Australian Government's land transport projects in the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding region is attached.
|Mr Truss' office -||Kylie Butler||02 6277 7680 / 0417 652 488|
|Mr Lloyd's office -||Fiona Telford||02 6277 7060 / 0407 908 504|
AUSLINK INVESTMENT PROGRAMME PROJECTS
Canberra is connected to the Hume Highway by the Federal Highway to Goulburn and the Barton Highway to Yass. In recent years, the Australian Government has spent more than $200.0 million upgrading these routes, mainly on the Federal Highway, where the goal was to duplicate the entire route in time for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. The priority for the long-term development of these corridors is to improve safety and manage future traffic growth.
New South Wales Capital Region projects
Murrumbateman bypass-Barton Highway duplication (Barton Highway)
About 29 km of the Barton Highway in New South Wales remains as a two-lane road. The Budget is providing up to $20.0 million for completion of planning and design, and progression of property purchases, for a bypass of Murrumbateman and duplication of the Barton Highway to four lanes between Murrumbateman and the ACT border.
An outer eastern route for the Murrumbateman bypass was determined in 2001 after an extensive community consultation process. Before the 5.3 km bypass can be built, however, environmental and planning approval, including a public consultation phase, must be completed. This project receives $2.0 million in 2006-07.
Carrick and Towrang intersections (Hume Highway)
The Australian Government has agreed to spend $5.5 million on highway improvements that will make it easier for traffic from Towrang and Carrick roads north of Goulburn to turn onto the southbound lanes of the Hume Highway. The project involves widening the highway and installing traffic islands and southbound merge lanes to separate the fast moving through traffic on the highway from the slower turning traffic, and will extend the existing acceleration and deceleration lanes. Construction has been delayed by heritage considerations, but is expected to get under way in September 2006 and be completed in April 2007. The project will receive $4.9 million in 2006-07.
Gungahlin Drive extension
The Gungahlin Drive extension stretches nine kilometres on a new alignment, connecting the Barton Highway to the Tuggeranong Parkway at the Glenloch Interchange. When built, it will carry an estimated 30,000 vehicles per day. The entire project is expected to be completed by mid-2008, but the first stage from the Barton Highway to Ginninderra Drive is likely to open to traffic before Christmas 2006. The estimated total cost of the project is $104.1 million. The ACT Government has indicated that it is utilising an Australian Government contribution of $13.0 million from the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme towards the total project cost.