Infrastructure Statement 2015
The then Acting Prime Minister, Warren Truss, delivered the second Annual Ministerial Infrastructure Statement to Parliament on Tuesday 1 December 2015. The Acting Prime Minister said he was particularly proud of the significant progress that has been made over the past twelve months delivering the critical infrastructure needed in every state and territory. The full statement can be viewed here.
Projects By Status and State
New South Wales
In NSW, work has begun on one of Australia’s biggest projects, WestConnex PDF: PDF: 562 KB , with two of three stages now underway. Stage 2 has started ahead of schedule due to the $2 billion concessional loan which was finalised on 20 November 2015. Over 60 per cent of the Pacific Highway PDF: 520 KB , is now complete with the final Woolgoolga to Ballina Section to be delivered by the end of the decade.
One of the most significant projects in Australia, the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan PDF: 678 KB , is moving ahead with work on the first two major road projects under the nearly $3 billion package underway. The Government is working closely with NSW to determine the rail needs of the Western Sydney Airport and surrounding suburbs. Western Sydney Airport is on track to take its first passengers in the mid 2020’s.
Projects such as the upgrade of the Western Highway, Tullamarine Freeway, the M80 and the duplication of parts of the Princess Highway are positive steps that are progressing according to plan.
In Tasmania, the $400 million commitment for the upgrade of the Midland Highway PDF: 205 KB , has enabled six construction projects to be completed and two more underway. In conjunction with this important road project, the planning and design phase for the runway extension at Hobart Airport is nearing completion.
The ten year Bruce Highway PDF: 396 KB , upgrade, targeted at improving safety, flood mitigation and reducing congestion, sees eight major projects now completed. Early works have also begun on the Gateway Upgrade North PDF: 1024 KB , and the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing PDF: 237 KB . The Government also recently announced its commitment to the Gold Coast Light Rail to ensure Stage 2 is completed in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Its legacy will last well beyond the Games, easing congestion between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
In the Northern Territory, the Government has committed to regional and remote roads with $90 million for the Regional Roads Productivity Programme, mitigating flood damage and road closures during the wet season.
North South Road Corridor PDF: 273 KB , in South Australia with $1.7 billion committed to the first priority sections, including the recently announced Northern Connector which will start work next year. The Torrens to Torrens section is underway, and Darlington is about to start in the coming months.
In Western Australia, the Gateway WA PDF: 261 KB , project is on track for completion, nearly one year ahead of schedule. Planning is well underway for other major projects such as NorthLink WA PDF: 276 KB , and Perth Freight Link PDF: 996 KB .
Australian Capital Territory
In the Australian Capital Territory, the $144 million commitment to the Majura Parkway will enable this important freight/commuter route to be completed in the next six months.
Complementary to these major projects, the Government is committed to improving road safety across the nation under the Black Spot Programme, with over 200 projects currently under construction. Nearly 2000 Roads to Recovery Programme projects are also underway, upgrading and maintaining road projects where they are needed most.
Bridges Renewal Programme and the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme
The Government has also committed $300 million to the new Bridges Renewal Programme, with 56 projects currently underway and additional $200 million to the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme,
of which 37 projects are under construction.
National Stronger Regions Fund
In the regions, the Government is delivering vital money to support locally important infrastructure with over $200 million in grants under the National Stronger Regions Fund announced in May this year. Successful Round 2 projects will be announced in the coming months. Round 1 of the Stronger Communities Programme for small capital projects which socially benefit Australia’s regions is underway, with Round 2 opening early next year.
Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail
The Government is progressing this truly national project, Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail PDF: 256 KB , will link South East Queensland directly with Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide via rail for the first time. This will remove 200,000 trucks, or 5.4 billion net tonne kilometres of freight from roads each year and add $22.5 billion to the Australian economy. The Government is currently considering a report from the Implementation Group established for the project and will make further decision on funding and delivery in the 2016 Budget.
The Government's reform agenda focusses on improving planning, project selection, delivery, evaluation practices, better use of existing assets and investigating the wider use of road user charging.
Through the Transport and Infrastructure Council, significant progress has been made on infrastructure reforms as outlined by the Australian government's response to the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Public Infrastructure. This includes undertaking and publishing a summary of procurement and road cost benchmarking; updating and publishing the suite of procurement guidelines to drive better value for money and innovation in procurement, and agreeing an action plan for protecting transport corridors and precincts.