Labor releases infrastructure policy document


Rail and road construction central to freight spend if ALP is elected

Labor releases infrastructure policy document
Anthony Albanese launching the policy at Port Botany with Bill Shorten.

 

The Australian Labor Party has promised it will accelerate freight transport infrastructure spending if elected.

Road and rail spending dominate this part of the ALP’s election platform.

Much of this would centre on New South Wales, with Port Botany rail capacity to be raised through a an equity injection into the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Labor would also boost freight movement around Port Kembla by investing in the Maldon to Dombarton rail project.

The Inland Rail scheme, most of which is located in NSW, would also get attention.

Elsewhere, it will invest in Victoria’s Murray Basin Rail Project and the Gladstone Port Access Road in Queensland.

In Perth, Labor would invest in an Outer Harbour study to address the long-term issues in Perth’s port needs as an alternative to the poorly-planned Perth Freight Link, which has been halted by the courts on environmental grounds.

NSW would also gain from road spending, specifically on continuing the Pacific Highway duplication, but would share such largesse with Queensland’s Bruce Highway.

Transport spokesman Anthony Albanese has taken the Coalition to task for falling behind Labor’s pace on these projects and the election policy echoes those attacks.

It did nominate dollar amounts for other particular road projects.

In Victoria, this includes $356 million for the M80 Western Ring Road upgrade and $177 million for the Craigieburn, O’Herns and Bridge Inn roads, which are part of the Melbourne Outer North to CBD capacity upgrade.

If elected, it would upgrade Queensland’s Ipswich Motorway from Rocklea to Darra and invest $168 million for the M1 Pacific Motorway Gateway Merge Upgrade, $80 million on Perth’s North Lake Bridge and $88 million in the Wanneroo and Roe Highway overpasses.

The Northern Territory would receive $58 million for regional and remote roads.

Labor pledges to "restore the Coalition’s $100 million funding cut to Tasmania’s Midland Highway project taking the total commitment to $500 million".

A Labor government would establish an independent expert panel in its first 100 days to determine the revised structure of the strengthened Infrastructure Australia and to develop rules around the new financing mandate.

The panel will report within six months of the election.

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