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Roads Australia Insider - May 9, 2018


Government keeps pedal to the metal on infrastructure spending

Last night’s Federal Budget saw a continuation of the Government’s commitment to the funding of nation-building roads and transport infrastructure, with confirmation of a $75 billion, 10-year spending program.

Of that $75 billion, about a third represents new funding.

There were no great surprises in the infrastructure space, with most of the major spending commitments announced in recent days and weeks. In summation, the Budget papers confirm:

  • $1 billion for the Ml Motorway corridor;
  • $3.3 billion for the Bruce Highway;
  • $1.4 billion for Adelaide's North-South Corridor;
  • $971 million to build the Coffs Harbour Bypass on the Pacific Highway;
  • $1.75 billion for the new North East Link in Melbourne;
  • $560 million to deliver Stages 2 and 3 of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road in WA; 
  • $280 million for  regional road works in the Territory;
  • $461 million to build a new Bridgewater Bridge to reduce travel times and improve traffic flow into Hobart;
  • a $200 million investment in the Barton and Monaro Highway corridors linking the ACT to NSW;
  • up to $5 billion for construction of a rail link to the Melbourne Airport;
  • $1.1 billion towards further components of Perth's METRONET program;
  • $400 million to duplicate a section of the Port Botany Rail Line and construct the Cabramatta passing loop;
  • $390 million for the upgrade of the Beerburrum to Nambour Line on the Sunshine Coast;
  • $300 million for the Brisbane Metro project; and
  • $220 million for the electrification of the Gawler Line in northern Adelaide.

There were few details on the Government’s much touted $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund, which will focus on alleviating this burden by investing in projects in urban areas that address pinch points and last-mile access to ports, airports and freight hubs.

The Budget includes $3.5 billion to establish the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative to upgrade key freight corridors in regional Australia. The Government says the initiative will also benefit urban areas where the primary focus will be last-mile access to ports, markets, airports and intermodal facilities. A portion of the funding from this initiative will support a number of immediate priorities including:

  • an additional $1.5 billion to continue the commitment to Northern Australia to deliver better access for industry and communities;
  • $400 million to upgrade regional highways in Tasmania, including the Bass Highway, to improve safety and freight efficiency;
  • $220 million to deliver a bypass of Bindoon on the Great Northern Highway in WA; and
  • $100 million in additional funding for the Barton Highway corridor to improve access from regional NSW to the ACT.

Another $250 million is being allocated to a Major Project Business Case Fund to enable the Commonwealth to work in partnership with State and Territory governments to develop business cases for major projects. The first business cases funded will include $15 million to support planning for a passenger rail service between Toowoomba and Brisbane and $10 million for Eastlink WA (Orange Route).

Click here for a summary of project highlights by state and territory.

Click here for all the Budget papers and news.


RA welcomes Budget funding commitments

The Federal Budget reaffirms the Government’s commitment to the funding of significant infrastructure projects that will have a meaningful impact on people’s lives across the nation, according to Roads Australia.

From Perth to Sydney, Adelaide to Darwin, everyone is a winner in this Budget, RA Chief Executive, Ian Webb, said last night.

The fact that we now have a $75 billion pipeline stretching over the next decade demonstrates foresight and a commitment to the sort of long-term investment we need in Australia.

The rail and road projects being funded are sorely needed, nation-building projects that will provide long-term community benefit, kick-off growth and encourage further investment from the private sector, and attract more tourism to our cities.

We congratulate the Federal Government on its prudent investment in long-term projects that will improve public transport, ease congestion and make our roads safer.

VicRoads’ road delivery function to be moved to Coordinator General’s office

In another shake-up of responsibilities within the Victorian transport bureaucracy, the delivery of all major road projects is to be moved from VicRoads to a new authority within the Office of the Coordinator General from July 1.

The move is in line with the shift of all public transport major projects to the Office of the Coordinator General over recent years.

The Office of the Coordinator General, under Corey Hannett, was created to solely focus on Victoria’s Big Build infrastructure program, currently being delivered by unprecedented government investment to improve infrastructure across the State.

The move progresses the Government's strategy of having a transport project delivery arm that delivers transformational major projects on time and on budget, allowing transport operators to focus on the planning and running of the transport network.

This model has already been successfully adopted by Public Transport Victoria and V/Line, whose focus is now on operating the rail network, customer journeys and planning, while the Office of the Coordinator General delivers major rail projects.

VicRoads is dedicated to connecting communities and getting Victorians to and from their destinations safely and reliably. Last week, Regional Roads Victoria was announced as a new division of VicRoads to focus on planning, maintaining and advocating for the regional road network.

Regional Roads Victoria will be based in Ballarat from September and bring together VicRoads’ five regional offices and the Safe System Road Infrastructure Program under a new Chief Regional Roads Officer. It will focus on safety, maintenance, freight, tourism and economic prosperity and will continue to grow strong relationships with our communities and stakeholders to ensure our work reflects their needs and aspirations.

VicRoads will continue to manage congestion and improve reliability across Melbourne’s road network and manage the registration of more than six million vehicles, the control of 10 million licences and maintain Victoria’s 25,000km of arterial road network.

The Major Projects Division will officially begin operating as Major Road Projects Authority, under the Office of the Coordinator General, on July 1.

Meantime, the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA) has been renamed as Rail Projects Victoria (RPV).

This follows the announcement by the Victorian Government that RPV will be investigating options for, and subsequently developing and delivering, a high-speed rail link between Melbourne and Geelong, as part of planning work for a future rail link to Melbourne Airport.

MMRA was established in early 2015 to lead the delivery of the $11 billion Metro Tunnel Project. In November 2016, the Victorian Government announced that MMRA would also lead delivery of the Ballarat Line Upgrade. That role has since expanded to include the entire scope of the $1.7 billion Regional Rail Revival program.

RPV remains overseen by the Office of the Coordinator General, within the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

Big-spending Victorian Budget promises congestion relief

The Victorian Government is promising Melbourne will get less congested, more reliable roads following last week’s State Budget announcement of the biggest investment in suburban roads in the State’s history.

The Budget included a $2.2 billion package to upgrade 13 arterial roads across the northern and south-eastern suburbs, on top of the $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade announced in last year’s budget.

Highlights of the package include:

Northern Roads Upgrade

  • duplicate Craigieburn Road between Mickleham Road and Hume Freeway in Craigieburn;
  • widening Sunbury Road from two lanes to four between Powlett Street and Bulla-Diggers Rest Road in Sunbury;
  • duplicating Bridge Inn Road between Plenty Road and Yan Yean Road and Yan Yean Road between Kurrak Road and Bridge Inn Road in Doreen;
  • duplicating Epping Road from two to four lanes between Craigieburn Road East and Memorial Avenue;
  • upgrading three intersections at Main Road, Porter Street and Foote Street on Fitzsimons Lane in Eltham; and
  • duplicating Childs Road in Mill Park from Beaumont Crescent to Prince of Wales Avenue.

South Eastern Roads Upgrade

  • duplicating Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road in Pakenham from two to four lanes between Princes Freeway and Manks Road;
  • duplicating Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road in Cranbourne from two to four lanes between Thompsons Road and South Gippsland Highway;
  • duplicating Lathams Road in Seaford from two to four lanes between Oliphant Way and Dandenong-Frankston Road, including a new bridge over Peninsula Link;
  • widening Pound Road West/Remington Drive in Dandenong South from two to four lanes between Abbotts Road and South Gippsland Highway, with a new bridge over the Cranbourne rail line;
  • duplicating Hallam North Road from two to four lanes between Heatherton Road and James Cook Drive;
  • intersection and road safety upgrades on Golf Links Road from Peninsula Link to Baxter-Tooradin Road and Grant Road from Baxter-Tooradin Road to Frankston-Flinders Road in Langwarrin South; and
  • upgrading two intersections with traffic lights on Thompsons Road in Cranbourne.

Western Roads Upgrade

  • widening Dunnings Road from two to four lanes and Palmers Road between Point Cook Road to Princes Freeway from two to six lanes in Point Cook;
  • widening Palmers Road between Princes Freeway to Western Freeway from two to four lanes in Truganina;
  • duplicating Derrimut Road between Sayers Road and Dohertys Road from two to four lanes in Tarneit;
  • widening Leakes Road between Fitzgerald Road and Derrimut Road from two to four lanes in Truganina;
  • duplicating Dohertys Road between Fitzgerald Road and Grieve Parade from two to four lanes in Laverton North;
  • widening Dohertys Road between Foundation Road and Palmers Road from two to four lanes in Truganina;
  • widening the Forsyth Road/Princes Freeway interchange in Hoppers Crossing; and
  • rebuilding the bridge and adding new entry and exit ramps at the Duncans Road/Princes Freeway interchange in Werribee South.

The Budget also allocates $941 million to fix Victoria’s regional road network, and includes funding for Regional Roads Victoria (RRV), a new division of VicRoads to be based in Ballarat and with staff in regional centres across the state.

Led by a Chief Regional Roads Officer, RRV will oversee a $333 million boost to road maintenance, with more than 1,000 kilometres of roads to be repaired, resurfaced or rebuilt across the State.

The Budget also includes $98 million for planning and pre-construction of new bypasses on the Western Highway at Beaufort and Ararat, as well as $40 million to upgrade the Princes Highway West between Colac and the South Australian border.

Key sections of the Calder Highway, Hamilton Highway and the Kiewa Valley Highway will be upgraded to improve safety, travel times and freight productivity.

Ballarat’s iconic Sturt Street will get a series of intersection upgrades between Pleasant Street and Dyson Drive to reduce congestion and make it safer to access schools, shops and sports grounds.

A new roundabout will be constructed on the Shepparton Alternate Route to improve safety and access for heavy vehicles, part of a $20 million investment to cater for future growth.

View the Budget papers here.


$1.45 billion investment in Territory infrastructure

The Northern Territory Budget handed down last week has outlined major road spending commitments as part of a $1.45 billion infrastructure investment package.

Treasurer Nicole Manison said the investment in roads, housing, health, education, schools and tourism infrastructure will drive generational change across the Territory.

Included in the infrastructure package is $626.4 million for Territory roads, including:

  • $76 million to upgrade the Adelaide River flood plain section on the Arnhem Highway,
  • $38 million for Barneson Boulevard,
  • $98 million for Keep River Plains Road, providing sealed access at Point Ceylon and upgrading and sealing Gunn Point Road to support Project Sea Dragon,
  • $11.8 million to continue upgrades to improve the cattle supply chain on the Barkly Stock Route,
  • $23.8 million to continue to extend the seal on the Plenty Highway,
  • $5 million capital grant to Tiwi Regional Council to employ a local Aboriginal enterprise to undertake Tiwi Island road upgrades,
  • $5 million for Maryvale Road upgrades in 2019-20,
  • $12 million for work on the Coolalinga intersection,
  • $2.5 million to extend the seal on the Tanami Road,
  • $5 million to seal the Central Arnhem Road between the Bulman community and airstrip,
  • $9.9 million to upgrade bridges on the Tablelands Highway, improving access and removing load restrictions, and
  • a commitment to match funding from the Alice Springs Town Council to upgrade Ilparpa Road, up to $2.5 million.

Find out more about Budget 2018 here.


$112m investment to make Qld roads safer

The Queensland Government has announced a $112 million investment in life-saving upgrades to improve six high-risk roads.

Announcing the upgrades during National Road Safety Week last week, Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the works would begin in July and should be completed by mid-2021.

"Works will incorporate a wide range of infrastructure safety improvements specific to the identified road, including installing reflective markers, guide posts, guard rails and signage, as well as line-marking improvements, shoulder widening, realignment and resurfacing,” he said.

The six roads to receive funding are:


  • Central Region: Gladstone Benaraby Road, $20.4 million
  • North Coast Region: Mount Glorious Road and Samford-Mount Glorious Rd, $11.3 million
  • North Coast Region: Burpengary-Caboolture Road and Beerburrum Road, $28.8 million
  • North Queensland Region: Captain Cook Highway, $25.75 million
  • South Coast Region: Beaudesert-Beenleigh Road, $12 million
  • South Coast Region: Mount Lindesay Highway (25A South MacLean section), $14 million

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