There were some decent results for motorists in the 2013/14 Federal Budget announced this week, despite a reduction in future road funding compared to previous years.
The federal government announced $24 billion over five years for a second Nation Building Program, which will include major road projects such as the Bruce and Pacific Highways.
However, this funding commitment is well down on the $36 billion commitment made in 2008 under the current six-year program.
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has welcomed the funding commitments, which respond to some key requests made under its “Demand Better Roads” federal election campaign.
“The support in this budget for crucial transport infrastructure projects is well-targeted and will deliver long-term benefits for Australia,” AAA Executive Director Andrew McKellar said.
“The commitment to key transport projects is essential if we are to address worsening congestion in our major cities and to improve safety and productivity on our national highways.”
Queensland and New South Wales were the biggest beneficiaries, with $4 billion allocated to the Bruce Highway in Queensland.
NSW receives $400 million for the F3 to M2 link, $1.8 billion for the M4 extension (WestConnex) M5 duplication funding as well as $381 million for the Pacific Highway.
NRMA President Wendy Machin said it was pleasing that the federal government appeared to be responding to calls from the NRMA and others.
“When the NRMA and our sister clubs launched our Demand Better Roads federal election campaign, we listed WestConnex, the F3 to M2 and the Pacific Highway among our top list of priorities; all three have received funds,” Ms Machin said.
“This is a significant victory for the NRMA and our members, but we also acknowledge there is a lot of work still to do.”
“There are some important projects that still require funding and a number of the important projects announced in this budget will not have funding commence until after 2014/15. The sooner we can get these projects started, the better.”
Other winners in the federal budget were the Midland Highway in Tasmania - set to receive $500 million over ten years - and $448 million for South Road in Adelaide.
Below is a summary of some of the major funding commitments from the 2013/14 federal budget.
- Bruce Highway - $4 billion over ten years
- Peak Downs Highway
- Brisbane Gateway North Upgrade - $718 million
NEW SOUTH WALES
- WestConnex M4 extension - $1.8 billion
- F3 extension to M2 - $400 million to commence works
- Pacific Highway - $381 million
- M5 duplication
- Hunter Valley Expressway - $8 million
- Bega by-pass - $60 million
- Mount Ousley Road, Wollongong - $42 million
- M80 Western Ring Road - $525 million
- Ballarat freight hub
- South Road, Adelaide - $448 million
- South Eastern Freeway traffic management
- Swan Valley Bypass - $418 million
- North West Coastal Highway - $174 million
- Tonkin Highway - $140 million
- Midland Highway - $500 million over ten years
- Brooker Highway - $25 million