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AusLink Delivers $921.8 million for South Australia

Minister for Transport and Regional Services - Warren Truss
007TRS/Budget 9 May 2006

The Australian Government has increased to $921.8 million its land transport funding for South Australia over the first five years of AusLink, the National Land Transport Plan.

This includes an additional $100.0 million to South Australia in 2005-06 to upgrade the road between Gawler and Nurioopta. The one-off payment will enable completion by 2009.

Of the $921.8 million, $433.8 million is directed to major land transport construction projects - an increase of 175.3 per cent compared with the preceding five years. The remainder is for AusLink Network maintenance, local road upgrades, elimination of crash 'black spots' and research and development.

Overall, AusLink will deliver $167.4 million to South Australia for spending on land transport infrastructure in 2006-07.

2006-07 funding under the AusLink Investment Programme

The Australian Government will spend $94.9 million in 2006-07 on AusLink Investment Programme projects in South Australia.

The 2006-07 investments support a proposed new northern Adelaide access route, transport infrastructure underpinning development of the Port of Adelaide and Osborne Maritime Precinct and further proposals for improving road safety on the Sturt Highway.

The allocations include:

  • $39.0 million towards stages 2 and 3 of the Port River Expressway and a rail and road upgrade for the Le Fevre Peninsula, providing better links to the new Outer Harbour grain terminal and nearby industrial sites;
  • $10.0 million for Sturt Highway upgrading projects which will improve road safety and provide regional communities along the route with better access to Adelaide's services;
  • $10.0 million towards planning for a new northern access route from Gawler to Port Wakefield Road and upgrading of Port Wakefield Road. The Australian Government has committed $146.0 million to this project under AusLink to mid-2009, with $60.0 million to be provided by the State Government;
  • $2.75 million to realign the Regency and Mullers roads dog-legs with Hampstead Road to become a conventional four-way intersection;
  • $2.5 million for rail realignment associated with the construction of a new Bakewell Bridge at Mile End; and
  • $26.4 million to maintain the AusLink National Network in South Australia.

The Australian Government Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss, and the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, outlined the comprehensive Budget funding package today.

"Our ongoing projects and new works to be funded during the next three years directly links spending on transport infrastructure with projected growth and development. In particular, we will strengthen connections between the Riverland and Adelaide, as well as connections off the network," Mr Truss said.

Support for regional infrastructure in 2006-07

Mr Lloyd said AusLink's holistic approach to infrastructure funding rewarded land transport concepts that support growth of regional industries, respond to structural change and strengthen local economic opportunities.

"The West Avenue upgrade, critical to the operation of the Edinburgh Parks industrial park, will proceed in 2006-07," Mr Lloyd said.

"Other Australian Government projects underway or recently completed included further reconstruction of the Nangkita Road to provide a more direct transport route between Adelaide and Goolwa and sealing of the Mount Hope-Cummins and Cowell-Kimba arterial roads on the Eyre Peninsula.

Investing in local roads

Mr Lloyd said South Australia's councils will receive a supplementary payment for improving the connectivity of local roads around the state, equivalent to an additional one year of Roads to Recovery funding. The payment will be made in 2005-06 and councils can spend it immediately on projects they nominate. South Australia also gains additional money for roads in unincorporated areas.

"This extra one-off payment in 2005-06 represents a significant $27.7 million injection for local road improvements.

"The Australian Government will also invest an additional $56.0 million in South Australia's local roads during 2006-07. This comprises $27.7 million from the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme and $28.3 million in untied Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) for local roads.

"In addition to these grants, South Australia's councils will benefit from an additional local roads grant of $13.0 million in 2006-07. This is in response to the Hawker Report finding that the local roads component of Financial Assistance Grants for South Australian councils is less in proportion to the length of roads and population of other States.

"Councils and the State are accountable to the Australian Government for spending the Roads to Recovery and FAGs, but may select projects according to local priorities," Mr Lloyd said.

"This will help address the backlog of local road works while also building the capability of regions."

Mr Lloyd said the Government wanted to enhance the ability of regional industries and communities to compete in the national and global economy, and to improve access to services.

"The Department of Transport and Regional Services is assessing applications from councils for unallocated funding under the AusLink Strategic Regional Programme. Successful applicants will be notified later this year," he said.

Fixing black spot locations to save lives

The Australian Government is delivering on its commitment to extend the AusLink Black Spot Programme to 2007-08.

"The aim is to prevent an estimated 500 casualty crashes on Australia's roads in 2006-07," Mr Lloyd said.

"This 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, vehicle turning lanes, roundabouts and improved lighting," Mr Lloyd said.

"South Australia will receive $3.5 million from the programme in 2006-07, which will be directed to fixing approximately 25 priority crash locations. 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 South Australia is attached.

Media contacts:
Mr Truss' office - Kylie Butler 02 6277 7680 / 0417 652 488
Mr Lloyd's office - Fiona Telford 02 6277 7060 / 0407 908 504

AusLink Backgrounder - South Australia


Adelaide urban corridor

Adelaide plays an important role in freight consolidation and transportation between the eastern states, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. The Australian Government's priorities are to develop a more strategic AusLink Network in Adelaide and to reduce congestion and conflict with local traffic. The construction of major new strategic road routes - the Port River Expressway and the Northern Expressway - and improved rail access to Port Adelaide will improve freight flows into and through Adelaide and to Port Adelaide and major intermodal centres, especially from the north. An Adelaide Urban Corridor strategy has been drafted. It identifies future growth in freight and passenger demand as a major challenge. The longer-term priorities will be to prevent high levels of urban congestion and improve the efficiency of the existing road and rail systems.

Port River Expressway Stages 2 & 3 and associated road and rail works

The existing road and rail accesses to South Australia's premier port are inefficient and are adding to the cost of moving freight. Forecasts suggest additional vehicle travel time due to congestion on the current network will more than double by 2011.

In July 2005, traffic began using Stage 1 of the Port River Expressway - a 5.5 km road between the South Road-Salisbury Highway Connector and Francis Street. The Australian Government contributed $39.7 million to the $91.5 million cost.

Stage 2 of the Port River Expressway involves a four lane high-level opening road bridge across the Port River between Docks 1 and 2, linking Stage 1 to Victoria Road. Changes will be made to Nelson Street, Semaphore Road, Elder Road and Ocean Steamers Road to connect to the new road link.

Stage 3 is a single track, dual gauge high-level opening rail bridge across the Port River, north of the road bridge, with connections to the existing rail system.

The associated road and rail works component of the project are focused on improving rail transport efficiency on the LeFevre Peninsula. This involves: reducing the number of rail crossings from 18 to seven; upgrading the remaining seven rail crossings; upgrading the existing seven kilometres of rail track including the reinstatement of a second parallel track; providing alternative road access to existing industry as a result of crossing closures; and installing a 1500 metre crossing loop at Wingfield.

Construction of Stages 2 & 3 began in November 2005, and is expected to be completed in mid to late 2007. The road and rail upgrading on the LeFevre Peninsula is underway.

The Australian Government has allocated $39.0 million to the project in 2006-07 from a total of $80.0 million it is putting towards the project's total estimated cost of $202.0 million.

Hampstead-Regency-Mullers roads intersection

Recent upgrades to Portrush Road have shown that the Hampstead Road intersections with Regency and Mullers roads perform poorly as part of the Adelaide urban link of the AusLink Network. The dog-leg intersection is to be converted into a conventional four-lane junction.

Planning is under way, allowing construction to take place in 2006-07. The Australian Government has allocated $2.75 million to the project in 2006-07 and has committed $3.0 million to the project.

Northern Expressway

The Northern Expressway project would involve a new route between Gawler and Port Wakefield Road. A new alignment would allow interregional highway traffic to avoid Main North Road and congestion through Salisbury and Elizabeth. Associated with this would be an upgrade of Port Wakefield Road between Waterloo Corner and Salisbury Highway.

The proposed expressway is at the concept planning phase.

The Australian Government has allocated $10.0 million to the project in 2006-07 and has committed $146.0 million to the cost of construction in the first five years of AusLink to 2008-09. The South Australian Government has committed $60 million over the same period.

Bakewell Bridge enhancements

The Australian Government will provide $2.5 million in 2006-07 as a contribution towards the cost of realigning railway lines beneath the Bakewell Bridge at Mile End. Rail operations will be enhanced by the realignment and by increasing the clearance between the underside of the bridge deck and the tracks. This will allow for the efficient double stacking of containers on freight trains.

Adelaide-Sydney corridor

The Adelaide-Sydney corridor passes through the foodbowl of Australia - linking the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, Victoria's Sunraysia and South Australia's Riverland. The Riverland is Australia's largest single production area for grapes and wine, generating 70 per cent of national exports in these commodities.

The Australian Government's strategic priorities for this corridor are to improve safety and reliability on the Sturt Highway and increase the competitiveness of rail. An Adelaide-Sydney corridor strategy is due to be developed between August 2006 and early 2007.

Sturt Highway upgrading

The Australian Government has allocated $10.0 million for Sturt Highway upgrade projects in 2006-07. The extra $100.0 million announced in this Budget for Sturt Highway upgrading increases the Australian Government's total AusLink funding commitments for the highway to $159.2 million.

A safety upgrade to eliminate the notorious Waikerie Bends was completed last month at a cost of $3.9 million, and follows construction of a series of overtaking lanes that have addressed safety along the route through the Riverlands.

The overall upgrading programme will focus on:

  • upgrade of the road between Gawler and Nurioopta;
  • regularly spaced overtaking lanes;
  • increasing road surface widths to accommodate standard-width traffic lanes and sealed shoulders;
  • reductions to sharp bends and blind crests;
  • improved junctions with more and better defined lanes for slowing and turning vehicles; and
  • smoother and rebuilt pavements.

The proposed range of performance and traffic management upgrades will improve road safety and enable freight vehicles to operate more efficiently. Regional communities near the route will have better access to Adelaide's services. Construction has commenced on some projects, while planning is underway on others. Planning for the duplication work will be accelerated.

Adelaide-Melbourne corridor

In terms of freight carried, the Western Highway is the second busiest interstate highway link in Australia, with more than five million tonnes of freight moved annually. This corridor also provides the main access route to the south-east region of South Australia via the Dukes Highway and South East Freeway, and the rail connection to Melbourne from Western Australia.

The Australian Government's strategic priorities for this corridor are to address congestion, safety and reliability on under-performing sections of the road links and improve rail's performance and share of the freight market. A Melbourne-Adelaide corridor strategy is currently being developed.

Adelaide-Perth corridor

The 2666 km Adelaide-Perth corridor incorporates the only sealed east-west road in this part of Australia and carries a high proportion of freight vehicles. Even minor delays can affect delivery schedules, transport efficiency and the local economy. At 70 per cent of the land freight market, rail has an above average modal share.

The Australian Government's strategic priority for this corridor is to ensure the links between Western Australia and the eastern states support reliable and efficient long-distance freight and passenger travel and connectivity. A Perth-Adelaide corridor strategy was drafted in 2005. Ensuring the competitiveness of rail and maintaining the condition of ageing road and rail infrastructure are emerging issues on the corridor.

Adelaide-Darwin corridor

The Adelaide-Darwin corridor follows the Stuart Highway and north-south railway line a distance of 2690 km between Port Augusta and Darwin. Significantly, it is the sole all-weather sealed north-south link for the residents and businesses of inland Australia. In South Australia, the Stuart Highway supports significant mining, livestock and tourism industries.

The Australian Government's strategic priority for this corridor is to enhance connectivity, maintain the interstate road link in a safe and reliable condition and maximise freight choice and efficiency on the corridor. A key priority is to improve access to Darwin's port to maximise the potential of port development of the Adelaide-Darwin railway. The Alice Springs to Darwin railway was completed in 2004 at a cost of $1.3 billion. An Adelaide-Darwin corridor strategy is under way and is due to be completed later this year.


Maintaining the condition of roads on the AusLink National Network addresses transport costs, efficiency and safety. The AusLink Network in South Australia will receive $26.4 million in maintenance spending in 2006-07.


West Avenue upgrade, Salisbury

An improved West Avenue forms part of an Edinburgh Parks road network strategy. It aims to support development of a new industrial park underpinning economic growth in the region with above average unemployment. The project will provide freight links that indirectly connect to the AusLink Network; decrease the number of freight vehicles using the Salisbury Highway and Main North Road; establish a key component of a road network strategy that will enable development of a sustainable industrial area at Edinburgh Park; and better serve car parts manufacturers.

Planning is complete and construction work is expected to start and finish in 2006.

The Australian Government has allocated $3.8 million for the project in 2006-07 and has committed $5.0 million to the cost of the project.