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TASMANIA'S ROADS AND RAILWAYS: BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE

8 May 2007 007TRS/Budget

The Australian Government will spend $86.8 million on Tasmania's roads and railways in 2007-08. Tasmania 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. In Tasmania, we will be able to continue improving the highways on the AusLink National Network," Mr Vaile said.

"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.

"It's great news for Tasmania, because these programmes have funded vital road projects in the state, such as the safety works on the Sisters Hills section of the Bass Highway, west of Burnie.

"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 Tasmania's funding under AusLink 2 in due course, following discussions with the Tasmanian 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 would spend $40 million in 2007-08 on AusLink National Network projects and former Roads of National Importance in Tasmania, including:

  • $13.9 million to complete the second stage of the duplication of the Bass Highway from Penguin to Ulverstone.
  • $2 million to continue planning work on the new Bridgewater Bridge.
  • $17.3 million for the Tasmanian rail rescue package.
  • $5.8 million towards the cost of maintaining the Bass, Midland and East Tamar highways.

"Tasmania is also benefiting from the $60 million advance payment that we provided in June 2006 to upgrade the East Tamar Highway. Some construction is already underway," Mr Lloyd said.

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 Tasmania.

"The Government is already contributing $23.9 million to projects in Tasmania under the programme, including the upgrading and realignment of the Sisters Hills section of the Bass Highway, and reconstructing and sealing an unsealed section of the Esperance Coast Road, together with essential rehabilitation of the sealed section and the replacement of a 15 metre bridge towards the town of Dover. We are also upgrading a 4.2 kilometre section of the Tasman Highway between Nunamara and Targa.

AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme

"Tasmania's 29 local councils will receive $10 million in 2007-08 from the AusLink Roads to Recovery programme and $28.5 million in untied local road grants.

AusLink Black Spot Programme

"The state will also receive $1.1 million in 2007-08 from the AusLink Black Spot Programme, which will fix 10 priority crash locations," Mr Lloyd said.

A detailed fact sheet is attached.

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

TASMANIA

The Australian Government will provide Tasmania with $86.8 million in land transport funding in 2007-08, as set out in the table below. In addition, the Government provided Tasmania with a $60 million advance payment in June 2006 to upgrade the East Tamar Highway.

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 Tasmanian Government.

Australian Government land transport funding, Tasmania, 2007-08

  2007-08
Funding
($ million)
AusLink Investment Programme (1) 40.0
AusLink Strategic Regional Programme 7.2
AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme 10.0
Untied local road grants 28.5
AusLink Black Spot Programme 1.1
Total 86.8

This table updates the tables in Budget Paper No.3. The figures may not add precisely to the total due to rounding.
(1) Includes funding for some former Roads of National Importance projects that are off the AusLink National Network.

AUSLINK NATIONAL NETWORK PROJECTS

Bridgewater Bridge replacement

The Australian Government will provide $2 million in 2007-08 to continue planning the new Bridgewater Bridge on the Midland Highway north of Hobart. The Government is committed to paying $100 million, or 80 per cent, of the total cost of the new bridge; however, the Tasmanian Government is considering the priority of a number of its road projects, including the bridge.

Bass Highway - Penguin to Ulverstone duplication stage 2

The Australian Government will provide $13.9 million in 2007-08 to complete the second stage of the duplication of the Bass Highway between Penguin and Ulverstone. The project will be completed in February 2008, and the Government is meeting its full cost, $42 million.

Stage 2 involves duplicating the Bass Highway from the existing four-lane section at the Forth Interchange to the west side of the Leven River. It will include a second bridge over the Leven River at Ulverstone.

In November 2006, the Government announced that on and off ramps will be constructed at Castra Road as part of the project. The ramps will provide access to the Bass Highway at Ulverstone and will reduce the number of trucks using residential streets to get to the highway.

East Tamar Highway - Launceston to Bell Bay

In June 2006, the Australian Government provided Tasmania with an advance payment of $60 million to upgrade of the East Tamar Highway between Launceston and Bell Bay. The Tasmanian Government is also contributing to the upgrade, which will have a total cost of $65.6 million.

The upgrade will help cater for the expansion of the port at Bell Bay, which is Tasmania's largest general cargo port. It includes a bypass of Dilston and a flyover at the Batman Highway junction.

Construction has begun on the Charles Street Bridge and further works will commence progressively over the next few months. The upgrade is expected to be completed in 2009.

Rail rescue package

The Australian Government is providing $78 million ($17.3 million in 2007-08) to improve the AusLink rail network in Tasmania. The funding is part of our joint spending commitment with Tasmania to upgrade and maintain the state's rail track over ten years.

This funding will increase the efficiency, safety and reliability of the AusLink rail network in Tasmania between Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.

Maintenance

The Australian Government will contribute $5.8 million in 2007-08 toward the cost of maintaining the AusLink National Network in Tasmania, which consists of the Bass, Midland and East Tamar highways.

NON-NETWORK PROJECTS

Lilydale Main Road-Golconda Road upgrade

The Australian Government will provide $1.1 million in 2007-08 to complete its $10 million contribution to upgrading the Lilydale Main Road and Golconda Road between Rocherlea and Scottsdale.

The project will improve safety standards and involves replacing old bridges and realigning and duplicating the road in the Scottsdale area, the principal service town in north-east Tasmania.

Sisters Hills upgrade, Bass Highway

The Australian Government is contributing $15 million under the AusLink Strategic Regional Programme toward the $30 million cost of upgrading the Bass Highway in the Sisters Hills between Rocky Cape Road and Boat Harbour. The upgrade will be completed in December 2008.

Works to the east and west of the Sisters Hills cutting, now underway, will finish in December 2007. The remaining projects, Wilsons Bridge and Montamana Road, are in the planning stages. Tenders for these works will be called later in 2007.

Esperance Coast Road upgrade

The Australian Government is providing $2.8 million under the AusLink Strategic Regional Programme toward the $4 million cost of sealing and stabilising the embankments of 8.4 kilometres of unsealed road, the rehabilitation of a section of sealed road, and the replacement of a 15 metre bridge on the Esperance Coast Road. The Huon Valley Council is meeting the rest of the project cost.

The project will support the growth of tourism and the fish farming industry, which is a major regional employer. The project is expected to be completed in late 2008.

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 $23.9 million to projects in Tasmania under the programme, but important and valuable projects missed out on receiving support because 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 Tasmania.

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

Tasmanian local councils will receive $10 million in 2007-08 from the AusLink Roads to Recovery Programme and $28.5 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

Tasmania will receive $1.1 million in 2007-08 under the AusLink Black Spot Programme, which will fix 10 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.