Northern Territory commits to roads in multi-billion dollar budget

By: Jason Whittaker


The Northern Territory Government will spend record amounts on road projects as part of its 2008 Budget, Treasurer Delia Lawrie

The Northern Territory Government will spend record amounts on road projects as part of its 2008 Budget, Treasurer Delia Lawrie says.

Lawrie, who handed down the $3.7 billion Budget on Monday, says the Government is committed to investing in road infrastructure projects, demonstrated by the $271 million it set aside in the Budget.

"When we came to government in 2001, the roads budget we inherited was $84 million…We have more than tripled the roads budget," she says.

The majority of the record spend will be used in the Tiger Brennan extension. The multi-year project, in partnership with the Federal Government, will cost $110 million.
"Budget 2008 includes stage two of the project at $809 million," Lawrie says.

The Budget also sets aside $2.5 million for passing lanes on existing parts of Tiger Brennan Drive.

But the extension is one of many road projects mentioned in the Budget, with the Government to invest $35.8 million for the multi-year Victoria Highway project, $4.3 million on railway crossing upgrades and $3.5 million on the Maryvale Road upgrade.

Furthermore, $4 million for road access to Pine Hill horticulture area has also been set aside this financial year.

The Government is also investing $6.3 million into battling the skills shortage crisis currently crippling businesses. The funds will be spent on training initiatives to boost apprentices in high demand areas.

"The 2008-09 Budget maintains the Government’s commitment to maximising employment opportunities for all Territorians and developing a highly skilled labour market that meets industry needs," Lawrie says.

Of the 3300 apprentices and trainees in training, Lawrie says 1760 are in skill shortage areas.

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