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VICTORIA'S ROADS AND RAILWAYS: BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE

   
8 May 2007 003TRS/Budget

The Australian Government will spend $566.1 million on Victoria's roads and railways in 2007-08. Victoria will also receive a fair share of the $22.3 billion in new land transport funding that the Government announced today.

The new funding will run from 2009-10 to 2013-14. It will be available under AusLink 2, the second stage of the Government's national land transport plan.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Mark Vaile, and the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, said that AusLink 2 would be the biggest investment in land transport ever made by an Australian Government.

"AusLink 2 will continue our massive investment in Australia's roads and railways. We will also be able to provide more money for local roads under the AusLink Roads to Recovery and AusLink Strategic Regional programmes. These programmes were due to end in June 2009; they will now continue until June 2014," Mr Vaile said.

"The Government has already announced that we will extend the Black Spot Programme under AusLink 2 until 2013-14 and increase its funding by 33 per cent. The Black Spot Programme funds safety works at dangerous locations on our roads.

"The Government will announce the details of Victoria's funding under AusLink 2 in due course, following discussions with the state government.

"Meanwhile, we are continuing to fund critical land transport projects across the state under the existing AusLink programme, and are announcing today that we will spend an extra $250 million in 2006-07 on AusLink Strategic Regional projects around Australia."

AusLink National Network projects in 2007-08

Minister Lloyd said the Australian Government will spend $331.5 million in 2007-08 on AusLink National Network projects in Victoria, including:

  • $76.1 million on the Deer Park bypass and Leakes Road interchange project on the Western Highway.
  • $60.1 million on the Geelong bypass.
  • $53.1 million for the Calder Highway, comprising $10.3 million to complete our commitment to the Kyneton to Faraday section and $42.8 million for the Faraday to Ravenswood duplication.
  • $13 million on the Hume Highway-Donnybrook Road interchange.
  • $10 million for the Goulburn Valley Highway - Arcadia duplication.
  • $20 million to upgrade the Tottenham to West Footscray rail link.
  • $30 million for the Dynon port rail link.
  • $49.8 million toward the cost of maintaining the roads on the AusLink National Network in Victoria.

Whitehorse Road-Springvale Road intersection upgrade

"In addition, the Australian Government will contribute $25 million toward upgrading the Whitehorse Road-Springvale Road intersection in Nunawading, subject to the Victorian Government agreeing to meet the balance of the costs," Mr Lloyd said.

"The intersection is one of Melbourne's busiest, with 66,000 vehicles per day using Springvale Road. The congestion is particularly bad because of the rail boom gates for the Belgrave-Lilydale line on Springvale Road, just south of the intersection.

"The Government will provide $3 million in 2007-08, including towards a detailed feasibility analysis of the options for solving the congestion problems.

AusLink Strategic Regional Programme

"The Government will spend an additional $250 million in 2006-07 on AusLink Strategic Regional projects around Australia. The AusLink Strategic Regional Programme helps local councils build transport infrastructure projects that will boost their local and regional economies and create jobs.

"As a result, the Government will be able to make more funding offers in response to applications we have received from councils. The Government will announce the successful projects in the near future, including projects in Victoria.

"The Government is already contributing $34.9 million to Strategic Regional projects in Victoria, including building a totally sealed road across the Victorian Alps, upgrading eight bridges across Gippsland, and widening the Eurambeen-Streatham Road in Pyrenees Shire to make it safer for heavy grain trucks.

AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme

"Victoria's 80 local councils will receive $62.5 million in 2007-08 from the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme. The unincorporated area of French Island will receive $16,000 for local roads. In addition, the councils will receive $110.9 million in untied local road grants.

AusLink Black Spot Programme

"Victoria will receive $10.4 million in 2007-08 under the AusLink Black Spot Programme, which will fix some 49 priority crash locations," Mr Lloyd said.

Attachment A is a detailed fact sheet about the Australian Government's land transport projects in Victoria.

Media contacts:
Deputy Prime Minister's office: Tim Langmead 02 6277 7680/0421 584 990
Minister Lloyd's office: James Larsson 02 6277 7060/0434 305 130

ATTACHMENT A

VICTORIA


The Australian Government will provide Victoria with $566.1 million in land transport funding in 2007-08, as set out in the table below. The projects detailed in this fact sheet are funded under the existing AusLink land transport programme. The Government will announce the projects that will be funded under AusLink 2 in due course, following discussions with the Victorian Government.

Australian Government land transport funding, Victoria, 2007-08

  2007-08
Funding
($ million)
AusLink Investment Programme 331.5
AusLink Strategic Regional Programme 12.9
AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme 62.5
AusLink Black Spot Programme 10.4
Whitehorse-Springvale Road intersection upgrade 3
Upgrade of the Mainline Interstate Railway Track (Wodonga bypass) 20
Federation Fund (Echuca-Moama) 15
Untied local road grants 110.9
Total 566.1

This table updates the tables in Budget Paper No.3. The figures may not add precisely to the total due to rounding.

AUSLINK NATIONAL NETWORK PROJECTS

Deer Park bypass and Leakes Road interchange

The Australian Government will provide $76.1 million in 2007-08 to continue the construction of the Deer Park bypass and to start the construction of the Leakes Road interchange.

The Deer Park bypass will replace almost 10 kilometres of the Western Highway that is subject to speed restrictions through residential and commercial areas. The Leakes Road interchange will be an elevated full diamond interchange with a two lane road bridge over the Western Freeway at Rockbank.

The total cost of the combined project is $331 million, with the Australian Government contributing $265 million. The Deer Park bypass and the Leakes Road interchange are expected to open in 2009.

Geelong bypass

The Australian Government will provide $60.1 million in 2007-08 to continue the construction of the Geelong bypass. The funding is part of the Government's $186 million capped commitment to this important infrastructure project.

The 23 kilometre bypass will be built to freeway standards and will run from the Princes Highway at Corio to the Princes Highway at Waurn Ponds. The bypass will be built progressively from north to south in three stages:

  1. From the Corio interchange on the Princes Highway to Bell Post Hill on the Midland Highway. This 10.5 kilometre section is expected to be completed and open to traffic in early 2008.
  2. From Bell Post Hill on the Midland Highway to the Hamilton Highway at Fyansford. This section of the bypass involves the construction of 4.5 kilometres of new four-lane freeway and a 200 metre long, 20 metre high twin-span bridge across the Moorabool River. It is expected to be completed by late 2008.
  3. From the Hamilton Highway at Fyansford to the Princes Highway at Waurn Ponds.

The Victorian Government has announced its preferred alignment for section 3, which would run to the east of Deakin University. This alignment results in a poor intersection with the Princes Highway, so the Victorian Government has announced it wants to add a fourth section to the bypass, which would involve an elevated interchange at the Princes Highway end and a new road linking to the Princes Highway further west.

The proposed fourth section is not on the AusLink National Network and is not eligible for Australian Government funding. The Government has asked Victoria to explain why it has chosen the eastern alignment rather than a route further to the west that would eliminate the need for a fourth section.

Calder Highway

Kyneton to Faraday duplication

The Australian Government will contribute $10.3 million in 2007-08 to continue duplicating the Calder Highway between Kyneton and Faraday. The funding means that all $89 million of the Australian Government's contribution, under the AusLink Investment Programme, to this project will be delivered ahead of schedule. The Victorian Government is responsible for meeting the rest of the project's cost.

The project involves duplicating the highway along a new alignment between the northern end of the Kyneton bypass and Ellerys Road in Faraday; it includes a new bridge across the Melbourne-Bendigo rail line at Elphinstone. The duplication is expected to be completed and open to traffic by mid-2009.

Faraday to Ravenswood duplication

The Government will contribute $42.8 million in 2007-08 to continue duplicating the Calder Highway between Faraday and Ravenswood. The Government's contribution to the project is capped at $107 million; the Victorian Government is responsible for the balance of the cost.

The project will duplicate the Calder Highway along a new 18.6 kilometre alignment between Golden Point Road in Faraday and the existing four-lane highway at Ravenswood. It will roughly parallel the western side of the existing highway.

The Faraday to Ravenswood duplication will be completed by late 2009.

Donnybrook Road interchange

The Australian Government will provide $13 million in 2007-08 to start construction work on the Donnybrook Road interchange at Kalkallo, 30 kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD. The $39 million interchange will separate cross traffic from the busy Hume Freeway.

A construction contract is likely to be awarded by September 2007, with works starting soon afterwards. The interchange is expected to be completed in 2009.

Pakenham bypass

The Australian Government will provide $3.2 million in 2007-08 to complete the construction of the Pakenham bypass. The Princes Highway through Pakenham is a major bottleneck on Melbourne's south-eastern outskirts. The 20 kilometre bypass will deliver a four lane freeway to the south of Pakenham and Officer, which will enable traffic between Melbourne and the Latrobe Valley to avoid 11 intersections, including six controlled by traffic signals.

The Australian Government's funding for the bypass is capped at $121 million, with Victoria responsible for the rest of the cost. The bypass will open at the end of 2007.

Arcadia duplication

The Australian Government will provide $10 million in 2007-08 to complete the duplication of the Arcadia section of the Goulburn Valley Highway. The Government is funding the entire cost of the duplication, $40.6 million.

The 11 kilometre project involves duplicating of the existing two-lane road from the northern end of the Murchison East deviation to the southern end of the proposed Shepparton bypass. It will include seven new bridges, four new intersections, 15 kilometres of service roads, a rest area, landscaping and associated environmental works. It is expected to open by the end of 2007.

Rail projects

Dynon Port Rail Link

The Australian Government will provide $30 million in 2007-08 towards the Dynon Port Rail Link project, which will elevate a section of Footscray Road over two new railway lines with enough clearance so that trains can operate between the Dynon intermodal precinct and the Port of Melbourne with double stacked containers. The existing connection to the port is a single rail line with a level crossing at Footscray Road, which causes significant delays to road and rail users.

The Government's total contribution to the project is capped at $110 million. The Victorian Government will meet the remainder of the cost.

Tottenham to West Footscray rail link

The Government will provide $20 million in 2007-08 to start work on upgrading the Tottenham to West Footscray rail link, which services the Port of Melbourne. The project will install duplicated standard gauge tracks, bi-directional signalling and cross over works, which will provide smoother and more efficient services for freight operators, and reduced noise and improved amenity for local residents.

The Government's total commitment to this project is $45 million.

Wodonga rail bypass

The Australian Government has committed $45 million to the Wodonga rail bypass project, which is expected to be completed by mid-2009.

Geelong- Mildura rail improvements

The Government has allocated $10 million in 2007-08 to upgrade the railway track between Geelong and Mildura, subject to the Government approving the project proposal. The Government's total commitment to the project is $20 million.

Maintenance

The Australian Government will contribute $49.8 million in 2007-08 toward maintaining the AusLink National Network in Victoria.

NON NETWORK PROJECTS

Whitehorse Road-Springvale Road intersection upgrade

The Australian Government has formalised its $25 million funding offer to help upgrade the intersection of Whitehorse and Springvale roads in Nunawading, subject to Victoria agreeing to meet the balance of the cost.

The intersection is severely congested, partly because of the rail boom gates for the Belgrave-Lilydale line just south of the intersection on Springvale Road.

In 2007-08, the Australian Government is providing $3 million. This includes the provision of funding to the City of Whitehorse Council for a detailed appraisal of the feasibility of the various options for addressing the transport problems at the intersection. The appraisal will underpin the cost estimates for the upgrade and will provide a strategic assessment of the wider sub-regional impacts of the various options.

Echuca-Moama Bridge

In 1998, the Australian Government committed $15 million from the Centenary of Federation Fund for a new bridge across the Murray River at Echuca-Moama. The balance of the project cost will be provided by the Victorian and New South Wales governments. The project has been delayed due to the complex state planning issues involved.

The new bridge is needed because the Echuca-Moama crossing carries the third largest value of freight of all the Murray River crossings between New South Wales and Victoria.

The Government also used the Centenary of Federation Fund to help build new bridges across the Murray River at Corowa and Robinvale.

AUSLINK STRATEGIC REGIONAL PROGRAMME

The AusLink Strategic Regional Programme helps local councils build transport infrastructure projects that will boost their local and regional economies and create jobs.

The Government is already contributing $34.9 million to projects in Victoria under the programme, but many important and valuable projects missed out on receiving support because far more applications were received from local councils than could be funded.

As a result, the Government has announced today that it will spend an additional $250 million in 2006-07 on strategic regional projects around Australia.

It will enable the Government to make more funding offers in response to applications it has received from councils. The Government will announce the successful projects in the near future, including projects in Victoria.

The Government will invest an additional $300 million in the AusLink Strategic Regional Programme under AusLink 2, which will enable councils to submit new funding applications.

LOCAL ROAD FUNDING

Victoria's 80 local councils will receive will receive $62.5 million in 2007-08 from the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme. The unincorporated area of French Island will receive $16,000 for local roads. In addition, the councils will receive $110.9 million in untied local road grants.

The Government has announced that the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme will continue until 2013-14, instead of ending in 2008-09.

AUSLINK BLACK SPOT PROGRAMME

Victoria will receive $10.4 million in 2007-08 under the AusLink Black Spot Programme, which will be used to fix 49 priority crash locations.

The Government has announced that the AusLink Black Spot Programme will continue until 2013-14, with a 33 per cent increase in funding from the start of 2009-10. The programme was due to end in 2007-08.