Budget outlines future infrastructure spend

Swan pledges $24 billion to next round of transport infrastructure program as first phase of Nation Building scheme winds down

Budget outlines future infrastructure spend
Budget outlines future infrastructure spend
By Brad Gardner | May 15, 2013

The Federal Government will spend an extra $24 billion on transport infrastructure projects across the country under the second phase of its Nation Building Program.

Handing down the Federal Budget yesterday, Treasurer Wayne Swan announced details of the Government’s next round of infrastructure spending on roads, rail and ports to run between 2014-15 and 2018-19.

The existing $36 billion five-year Nation Building Program is in its final year and Swan says it is vital the Government continues to invest in infrastructure to reduce congestion and lift productivity.

This year’s Budget allocates more than $5 billion from the current Nation Building Program to projects, with New South Wales receiving the bulk of the funds.

The next Nation Building Program will provide funding for projects in NSW such as the M4 and M5 extension and the construction of the F3 to M2 missing link. Money will go to completing Melbourne’s M80 Ring Road and bankrolling projects in Queensland that include the Gateway North upgrade.

"And in our regions we are investing in the Swan Valley Bypass in WA, the Bruce Highway in Queensland, the Pacific Highway in NSW, the Midlands Highway in Tasmania and the Tiger Brennan Driver in the Northern Territory," Swan says.

"These investments will boost productivity, build capacity, improve safety, and relieve congestion, as well as improving the quality of life in our communities across the nation."

The Federal Government will also provide almost $2 billion from 2014-15 to 2018-19 for transport-specific projects, including $100 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

The Government will allocate $20 million a year over the period, taking the total value of the program to $200 million over five years.

The rest of the money will go to network maintenance ($1.8 billion) and planning, research and evaluation work ($61 million).

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says the next Nation Building Program includes a $718 million investment in widening the Gateway Motorway in Brisbane as long as the State Government does not impose new tolls.

Funding will also go to adding an extra lane in both directions on the Ipswich Motorway between Rocklea and Darra.

Albanese says $525.1 million will go the M80 project to provide a minimum of three lanes in both directions and install technology to manage traffic flows.

Tasmania will receive $500 million over 10 years for a package of works on the Midland Highway, while $448 million will go to upgrading and widening South Road in South Australia.

Albanese says the projects named in the Budget are preliminary and that more will be announced in the coming months.

BUDGET 2013-14
This year’s Budget provides NSW $1.7 billion for projects including works on the Pacific, Great Western, Olympic and Newell highways.

Victoria will get $1.5 billion, which includes money for freeway management technology, widening the Western and Metropolitan ring roads and upgrading the Western Highway between Stawell and the South Australian border.

Queensland will receive $1.2 billion to continue works on projects such as the Gateway and Pacific motorways and to upgrade the Bruce and Warrego highways.

Meanwhile Western Australia will have $623 million, of which some will be spent on upgrades to the Great Northern and Tonkin highways.

The Budget provides $196.2 million for South Australia, $124 million for Tasmania, $108.7 million for the Northern Territory and $74 million for the Australian Capital Territory to invest in transport infrastructure.

"These highway packages will improve safety through intersection upgrades, road widening, construction of additional overtaking lanes, realignment of sections and regeneration of sections," Albanese says.

The states and territories will also receive a cash injection of more than $60 million to remove black spots on their networks.

NSW will have $20.2 million to target 83 problem areas, while Victoria receives $16.1 million for 63 black spots. The Budget hands out $12.5 million to Queensland to eliminate 45 black spots, while Western Australia will get $7.5 million to spend on 36 black spots.

A further $4.7 million will go to South Australia for 22 projects. Meanwhile, Tasmania gets $1.8 million to spend while the ACT and the Northern Territory get $900,000 and $800,000 respectively.

Councils across the country will share in a pool of just over $1 billion to maintain and upgrade local roads. NSW councils are the biggest winners, receiving $322.4 million. Victorian councils will have $218.7 million at their disposal, with $197.7 going to Queensland.

The Budget has allocated $161.4 million to Western Australian local governments, $87.1 to South Australia, $49.9 million to Tasmania, $29.7 million to the Northern Territory and $22.4 million to the ACT.

The Budget maintains investment in trucking-specific projects, providing $12.2 million for 12 new and upgraded rest areas, 60 new or upgraded stock ramps and loading pens and two truck wash facilities in NSW.

A further $4.6 million will go to Victoria for five new or upgraded rest areas, two intersection improvements, 86 new or upgraded stock ramps and loading pens and lighting upgrades at five stockyards.

Queensland gets $3.6 million to spend on five new or upgraded rest areas and two stock ramps, with $2.9 million going to South Australia for seven new or upgraded rest areas, nine new or upgraded stock ramps and two road projects to improve heavy vehicle access.

Another $6.3 million will go to strengthening four bridges, providing four new or upgraded truck parking bays and two cattle loading ramps in the Northern Territory.

Western Australia, meanwhile, will invest its $3.7 million of federal funding in 13 new or upgraded rest areas, one upgraded decoupling bay and one road upgrade to improve heavy vehicle access.

Tasmania will use $1.8 million to replace bridges on key freight routes. The Federal Government will provide $300,000 to the ACT to strengthen the Barry Drive Bridge to support heavier trucks.

In delivering the Budget, Swan expressed a positive outlook for the economy despite an expected deficit of $18 billion in 2013-14 and a revenue write-down of $17 billion this financial year.

He says Australia’s economy is forecast to grow faster than most of the developed world.

"By mid 2015, our economy will be 22 percent bigger than before the global financial crisis, outstripping every major advanced economy," Swan says.

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