BUDGET: Multi-billion dollar infrastructure investment continues

New investment in infrastructure will reach about $7 billion in 2011-12

May 11, 2011

New investment in the nation’s transport infrastructure will reach about $7 billion next financial year to begin or complete key projects.

Funding will be used on big-ticket items such as duplicating the Pacific Highway and will cover the completion of the Townsville Ring Road and studies into the Mackay Ring Road and Scone Level Crossing.

Funds will also be used build the Gladstone Port Access Road, a new interchange on Queensland’s Warrego Highway and for improvements to the Peak Downs Highway.

"The Government’s unprecedented capital works program now comprises over 120 major road, 32 major rail and six urban public transport projects – including all the commitments we took to last year’s general election," Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says.

He says the Government will soon begin work on 239km of rail line between Albury, Melbourne and Geelong to improve rail’s competitiveness and lift productivity.

Expenditure on Western Australian infrastructure under the Nation Building Program has increased by $179.4 million in the 2011-2012 Federal Budget and is part of $920.5 million to be invested in projects next financial year.

This includes money for the Great Eastern and the Great Northern highways and Bunbury Port Access Road.

Albanese says the new funding will go toward the WA Gateway project, which is an extensive upgrade of the road network around Perth Airport and nearby industrial estates.

Work will begin on intermodal facilities in Victoria at Altona and Somerton as part a $1.1 billion investment in the state in 2011-2012. Work will also begin on widening Clyde Road to a four lane carriageway and upgrading and expanding the Warrnambool intermodal.

Albanese expects work to be completed on key upgrades to the Geelong Ring Road, West Gate Bridge, Western Highway, the Geelong Port and the Calder Freeway in the next year.

He says the Government will spend $2.4 billion in NSW next financial year to start, progress or complete a long list of projects. Tasmania will receive $121 million for road and rail upgrades, with the Government allocating $585.4 million to South Australia.

Queensland will receive a significant share of funds, with the Budget allocating $1.2 billion in 2011-12, including money for Bruce Highway projects that were delayed due to floods earlier this year.

The Northern Territory and the ACT have been granted $143.5 million and $82.2 million respectively.

Money is also going to the black spot program, heavy vehicle rest areas and local councils to cover road maintenance costs.

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