Infrastructure a strong focus of NT Budget


Record investment includes remote roads spending

Infrastructure a strong focus of NT Budget
Territory roads will get a lot of attention.

 

Road spending is a winner in this year’s Northern Territory Budget, with the NT Government claiming a record investment of $587.1 million to transport infrastructure.

Along with continuing duplication of Tiger Brennan Drive, from Berrimah Road to Woolner Road, worth $60.9 million in NT and Commonwealth funds, major new projects in 2015‑16 include:

  • improving Outback Way roads ($32 million)
  • national network upgrades ($30.5 million)
  • constructing a new high-level bridge over the Lower Finniss River and complete the sealing of Litchfield Park Road ($28.5 million)
  • complete sealing of the Mereenie Inner Loop, Red Centre Way ($25 million)
  • strengthening six bridges on the Tablelands Highway ($12.5 million)
  • duplicating Vanderlin Drive from the Leanyer Recreation Park to the McMillans Road roundabout ($11.5 million)
  • transport access works in Maningrida, Gapuwiyak, Galiwin’ku and Ramingining ($5 million).

Spending on heavy vehicle-specific infrastructure will include: $7.7 million on Carpentaria Highway and Roper Highway work; $7 million for a grade-separated overpass on Stuart Highway over the railway south of Alice Springs; $321,000 to upgrade or construct truck parking bays on the Lasseter, Plenty and the Tanami highways.

The repairs and maintenance bill for Territory roads is to come in at $56 million.

"The program has been framed to develop the Northern Territory through job creation and economic development with particular focus on, tourism cattle supply and urban regional transport," transport minister Peter Chandler says.

An estimated additional 219 km of new sealed roads will be constructed as a result of the 2015 budget.

"Transport infrastructure supports the community and facilitates economic development," transport minister Peter Chandler says.

"The record spend recognises the importance of transport infrastructure to the development of Northern Australia to unlock the potential opportunities in our remote and regional areas."

In a wrinkle stemming from a New South Wales court case two years ago, payroll tax has been changed to maintain harmonisation.

"The operation of the ‘owner-driver’ payroll tax exclusion has been clarified following the New South Wales Court of Appeal’s decision in The Smith’s Snackfood Company Limited v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (NSW) [2013] NSWCA 470 which highlighted wording deficiencies and broadened the exclusion beyond its traditional operation and intended scope," the Budget papers say.

"To address these issues, the exclusion is amended to clarify that it applies to services solely for or ancillary to the conveyance of goods. "

 

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