Budget spends up on roads, rail and congestion

The Federal budget has included a $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund and a $3.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance (RoSI) initiative.

Under RoSI, funding will be provided to upgrade key freight routes to export markets. RoSI includes $400 million for roads in Tasmania, $100 million for the Barton Highway that will benefit the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales and $1.5 billion for roads in Northern Australia. $1.5 billion has been set aside for future national priorities.

There is no information available in the budget papers about how the Urban Congestion Fund money will be distributed.

Funding for new major projects includes:

  • in NSW, the Federal and New South Wales Governments will be equal partners in funding the first stage of the North South Rail Link in Western Sydney. The Government is providing $971 million for the Pacific Highway Coffs Harbour Bypass, and $400 million to duplicate the Port Botany Rail Line.

  • in Victoria, a commitment of up to $5 billion to the Melbourne Airport Rail Link and funding of $1.75 billion for the North East Link.

  • in Queensland, an additional $3.3 billion for continuing upgrades of the Bruce Highway, including $800 million for the Cooroy to Curra Section D project, and $1 billion for the M1 Pacific Motorway between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill and Varsity Lakes and Tugun.

  • in Western Australia, a further $1.05 billion for the METRONET rail project, $944 million for the Perth congestion package and $560 million for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.

  • in South Australia, $1.4 billion for future priorities on the Adelaide North South Road Corridor and $220 million for the Gawler Rail Line electrification.

  • in Tasmania, $461 million for the replacement of the Bridgewater Bridge and an additional $59.8 million for the second stage of the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation program.

  • in the Australian Capital Territory, $100 million for the Monaro Highway Upgrade.

  • in the Northern Territory, $180 million for the Central Arnhem Road Upgrade and $100 million for the Buntine Highway Upgrade.

For projects that are already under way, $9.3 billion has been earmarked for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project, with construction expected to begin later this year. Up to $5.3 billion will be invested with WSA Co to build Western Sydney Airport. Construction is due to commence this year and operations by 2026.

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