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Increased Spending for Hume Highway Duplication in New South Wales

Minister for Transport and Regional Services - Warren Truss
013TRS/Budget 9 May 2006

The Australian Government is providing an additional $800.0 million to New South Wales in 2005-06 aimed at dramatically increasing the pace of converting the Hume Highway in southern New South Wales to four lanes by 2012. The Government will also be providing an additional $34.1 million for duplication and other works on the Hume Highway from 2006-07 to 2008-09.

This lifts the Australian Government's commitment to the New South Wales section of the Hume to $1398.3 million.

About 108 km of the highway in New South Wales remains as two-lane road.

The Australian Government Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss, said today construction of the Coolac bypass would start when heritage issues were resolved, while duplication of Sheahans Bridge at Gundagai would commence as soon as tenders could be called and a contract let. "These two projects will complete continuous four lanes south of Sydney to the Sturt Highway turnoff, near Tarcutta," Mr Truss said.

"Other projects proceeding or about to start include the Hume Highway upgrading at Albury Wodonga, the West Street interchange at Gundagai, a truck changeover facility at Tarcutta, ramps on the F5 at Ingleburn and widening of the F5 northbound.

"By the end of 2009, more than 80 per cent of the remaining two-lane sections will be duplicated, leaving only the highway through the towns of Holbrook, Tarcutta and Woomargama as two-lane roads," Mr Truss said.

"Previous governments have only ever promised a four-lane highway linking Australia's two largest cities but have not put in place the long-term funding to turn the vision into reality. Tonight's funding commitment means we will be very well placed to meet the Government's objective for completing duplication by 2012."

Under AusLink, the National Land Transport Plan, the Australian Government had already committed to fund:

  • the Hume Highway upgrading at Albury Wodonga (in total $518.0 million is being provided to the Victorian and New South Wales Government, with $135.0 million being provided to New South Wales in 2006-07). Construction is under way and the entire 17 km project is scheduled to open in mid-2007;
  • the 12 km Coolac bypass (in total $145.0 million, with $25.0 million in 2006-07). Construction likely to start in November 2006 and open in late 2008;
  • duplication of the Sheahan Bridge at Gundagai ($43.0 million, with $5.0 million in 2006-07). Construction to start in 2006-07 and finish in 2008-09;
  • the West Street interchange at Gundagai ($8.8 million and remaining $4.5 million to be paid out in 2006-07). Work on the flyover is in progress. It is due to open in December 2006;
  • a range of Hume Highway safety improvements and planning works ($36.0 million, with $5.6 million of that in 2006-07). Most of the works are to be completed by September 2006;
  • a truck and trailer interchange facility at Tarcutta (the Australian Government is contributing $3.0 million towards the total cost, $1.6 million in 2006-07). Work will start in June 2006 and be completed in December 2006.

Mr Truss said the new funding is aimed at allowing the following projects to proceed in the next four financial years:

  • four lanes from the northern end of the Albury Wodonga upgrade (including a major deviation) to south of Woomargama;
  • four lanes over the Little Billabong section (between Holbrook and Tarcutta) ;
  • Kyeamba Hill duplication, providing the missing link between two sections already duplicated;
  • duplication north of Tarcutta and Holbrook.

The Australian Government Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, said the funding and construction schedule would leave only about 20 km of the Hume Highway in southern New South Wales as a two-lane road by 2009.

"The revised programme includes projects for which planning has begun and also works where the solution is relatively straightforward, such as building another two lanes beside the existing road.

"Bypasses at Tarcutta, Holbrook and Woomargama will require more complex planning, consultation and environmental assessments. This will take their construction start beyond mid 2009, but planning can start now so that the AusLink objective of a four-lane Hume Highway can be met by the end of 2012," Mr Lloyd said.

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