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Roads Australia Insider - June 16, 2017


Queensland Government pledges record spend on road and transport projects 

The Queensland Government says it’s delivering a record spend on road and transport infrastructure for the second year in a row with its updated Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) 2017-18 to 2020-21 outlining close to $21 billion of investment over the next four years.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport, Jackie Trad, and Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey, said the $21 billion funding through QTRIP was a massive investment in the state’s transport future and job creation and was around $1 billion higher than the previous QTRIP.

“In the 2017-18 financial year we will invest $4.32 billion to continue the great work across the state and ensure we have the infrastructure to address the needs of our growing state.

“In my portfolio we are heavily investing in public transport with the 2017-18 Budget allocating $233.5 million to complete Stage 2 of the Gold Coast Light Rail.

“There will be a $240 million injection over four years to deliver the infrastructure that will ensure a more reliable, safe and accessible public transport network.

“There will also be $16.6 million for eligible bus operators as part of the Queensland School Bus Upgrade Scheme.”

Mr Bailey said the Budget would deliver key road projects such as the two Pacific Motorway upgrades (Gateway Motorway Merge and Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes), Ipswich Motorway Rocklea to Darra upgrade, Gateway Upgrade North, Bruce Highway upgrades, Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Road Upgrades and Cape York Regional Package.

“With the significant impacts from Cyclone Debbie felt earlier this year, funding of $105 million has been allocated in 2017-18 to undertake restoration works to the transport network across Queensland to deliver high priority projects to support the economic development in Northern Queensland. ,” he said.

“We continue to support the Northern Australian Roads Programme and Northern Australia Beefs Roads Programme

“This is on top of funding for Mackay Ring Road (Stage 1), realignment of the Peak Downs Highway at Eton Range, and upgrading of timber bridges on the Dawson Highway.

Budget highlights:

-       Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) – approximately $21 billion over four years ($4.32 billion for 2017-18)

-       Bruce Highway Upgrades - $5.59 billion over four years in joint funding ($510.5 million for 2017-18)

-       Targeted road safety programs - $538 million over four years ($127.7 million for 2017-18)

-       More than $6 million for extension of Local Fare Scheme for further two years

-       $2 million to expand the Local Fare Scheme to Weipa, Mornington Island and Doomadgee for a one year trial.

2017-18 QTRIP Major Projects:

-       $252.5 million towards the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, totalling $1.606 billion

-       $236.3 million towards the Gateway Motorway North six laning, totalling $1.143 billion

-       $233.5 million to deliver Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2, totalling $420 million

-       $120 million to duplicate Bruce Highway between Caloundra Road and Sunshine Motorway, totalling $929.3 million

-       $105 million to undertake restoration works under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements

-       $70 million towards construction of Mackay Ring Road (Stage 1), total estimated $497.8 million

-       $39.7 million to complete upgrading of various Gold Coast roads in preparation for Commonwealth Games, totalling $160.7 million

-       $44.4 million to duplicate the Warrego Highway, Charlton to Kingsthorpe, totalling $160 million

-       $36 million to construct additional lanes on Stage 1 of the Ipswich Motorway between Rocklea to Darra, totalling $400 million

-       $5 million towards duplicating the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere, totalling $75 million

-       $18.6 million to construction additional lanes on the Pacific Motorway between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes

-       $10 million to upgrade the Pacific Motorway/Gateway Motorway merge

-       $16 million to seal sections of the Kennedy Developmental Road between Hughenden and The Lynd, totalling $50 million

-       $16.3 million to replace the bridge and approaches for flood immunity at Cape River on the Gregory Developmental Road, totally $34.6 million

-       $16.8 million to replace timber bridges on the Dawson Highway, totalling $40 million under our State Infrastructure Fund

-       $39.1 million to continue upgrades to Peninsula Developmental Road as part of the $260.5 million Cape York Regional Package

-       $14.4 million upgrade of the Helensvale Bus Facility

-       $500,000 to continue preliminary design of the $150 million Walkerston Bypass, on the Peak Downs Highway west of Mackay

-       $4 million towards the $20 million Mount Lindesay Highway upgrades between Browns Plains and Beaudesert, with a further $20 million state funding committed to widen the highway to four lanes between Rosia Road and Stoney Camp Road in QTRIP.

For more Budget information, click here.

Eastlink switches over to SICE tolling

Melbourne’s EastLink has successfully switched over to a new state-of-the-art tolling back office system and customer website provided by SICE.

EastLink’s new tolling back office system is a tailored version of SICE’s Billing and Invoicing System (BIS). Since going live, the new system has been successfully processing the tolls and payments for the 250,000 vehicle trips and 1.2 million fully electronic toll point transactions made on EastLink each day.

The change-over to the new system was completed over just one weekend - a remarkable achievement considering the migration of historical data for 560,000 customer accounts, 2.8 million casual user accounts, 3.4 million Australian DSRC tolling tags, 18 million Australian vehicles and 32 million trips.

EastLink’s Doug Spencer-Roy says the new system is not just more efficient but adds new functionality tailored to the tollroad operator’s specific needs.

The joint EastLink-SICE implementation team has been working on the project since February 2015.


Priority SA roads receive huge safety and maintenance upgrades

The South Australian Government says it’s spending $532 million on road maintenance and safety measures over four years, with $341 million to be spent in the regions.

Responding to the RAA’s Risky Roads Campaign and report, the South Australian Government says its spending $532 million on road maintenance and safety measures over four years, with $341 million to be spent in the regions.

The half-billion dollar investment includes a $110 million package to boost road maintenance, of which $71.5 million will be spent in the regions. More than 185 projects will be delivered through the $110m stimulus package, supporting more than 300 jobs.

Responding to the RAA’s Risky Roads report that prioritises road improvements as nominated by the motoring public, Transport and Infrastructure Minister, Stephen Mullighan said while it was pleasing that a number of the roads identified in the first RAA report had dropped from the list, the State Government was committed to continuing efforts to develop and maintain a safe, reliable and efficient road transport network.

“The RAA report is a useful guide in identifying which roads and intersections are considered of highest priority for South Australians, and is one of a number of sources of information, as well as correspondence from members of the public and Parliament,” Mr Mullighan said.

“Public support for projects is one of a number of factors taken into account in the decision-making process for funding transport infrastructure upgrades and must be balanced against other factors including crash history and road traffic volumes.”

Mr Mullighan said almost $120m had been invested in ten roads nominated in the RAA report. Almost $70m had been spent on projects such as intersection upgrades, safety barriers, shoulder sealing and pavement works during the last five years.

A further $48m is budgeted for works in the immediate future with further works programmed for later financial years.

Heading the list of intersections identified in the RAA report is the Oaklands Crossing – a project which was just this week identified for a $174.3m upgrade starting next year.

Main South Road between Noarlunga and Cape Jervis topped the RAA list, despite more than $4.2m of upgrades over the last five years and another $12m earmarked over the next two years.

This includes an $11.2m safety upgrade including a roundabout in Aldinga, median works, road widening, pavement works and improved road lighting.

The funding is part of a multi-billion dollar investment in the South Australian road network which has led to a record program of road infrastructure, maintenance and safety upgrades.

Additional funding as part of the State Government’s record half-billion dollar investment in road maintenance and safety upgrades has also seen a number of roads which were included in the RAA’s 2013 survey drop off the list.

The State Government’s $523m road maintenance and safety investment over four years includes the $110m road infrastructure stimulus package announced in the 2015-16 State Budget.

This record investment, together with a multi-billion dollar State and Federal investment in new road infrastructure projects, such as the $2.5b of North-South Corridor works has resulted in an unprecedented level of works.


Infrastructure grows for the first time in five years

Record infrastructure programmes in NSW and Victoria have now reversed five years of decline in infrastructure construction, according to the latest Australian Infrastructure Metric from Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and BIS Oxford Economics.

“The latest figures show that national infrastructure construction has grown by a quarter of a billion dollars this year,” said Chief Executive Brendan Lyon. “Better still, transport infrastructure has surged by $2.6 billion this year. But this growing investment is only in NSW and Victoria, and not the rest of the country. NSW and Victoria are funding unprecedented levels of transport infrastructure construction, because they’ve found the money by leasing electricity and port assets. 

“Queensland and WA need the jobs, skills and economic growth from infrastructure construction, given they’re the most exposed to the collapse of mining investment. But sadly, neither Queensland nor WA have been able to successfully lease assets, despite their poor budget positions and massive public debt. 

“Queensland and WA are offline and holding Australia’s overall economic activity back. These figures show again why the Federal Government should reinstate the Asset Recycling Initiative and link enlarged Federal infrastructure grants directly to asset recycling in Queensland and WA."

More information available here. 


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