Road and rail projects have been highlighted as priority initiatives to ease congestion and improve our quality of life.
Infrastructure Australia said in a mid-year update that expanding motorways and adding more rail services would soothe Australia’s growing pains after years of rapid population growth.
And so the independent government adviser has added five road and three rail projects to its prioritised list of “nationally significant investments”, in addition to two freight projects, one transport and one social infrastructure initiative.
Known as the Infrastructure Priority List, the live document is a list of 155 national projects, now totalling more than $64 billion, that IA believes will deliver the greatest economic and social returns for all Australians – projects it wants the government to get started on as soon as possible.
Infrastructure Australia CEO Romilly Madew said the list was critical to Australia’s economic recovery plans.
“Australia is planning its recovery from a rolling series of crises: Drought, flood, the bushfires and now COVID-19. As we look forward, the focus is on delivery, and as the nation’s infrastructure advisory body, we are continuing to improve our ability to move quickly to identify investments that will improve productivity,” Ms Madew said.
“This is about expanding the pipeline, keeping the economy growing, helping to create jobs and attract investment.”
Below are the 12 additions to the Infrastructure Priority List. The complete document can be found here.
New South Wales
- M12 Motorway expansion (High priority project) – developing M12 into a new 16-kilometre dual-carriage motorway that connects the Westlink M7 Motorway to The Northern Road, which is a major north–south corridor and also a component of the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan
- More Trains, More Services Stage 2 (Priority project) – stage 2 of the multi-stage More Trains More Services (MTMS) Program to increase rail capacity across the Sydney network
- Port Botany Rail Line Duplication & Cabramatta Passing Loop (Priority project) – “The project will provide the capacity required to meet forecast rail demand generated by the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal, Enfield Intermodal Terminal, the St Marys Intermodal Terminal (from 2022), and future terminals, including a site planned near Western Sydney Airport.”
- METRONET: Morley-Ellenbrook Line Project (Priority project) – a 21-kilometre heavy rail line using the median of the Tonkin Highway
- METRONET: High Capacity Signalling Project (Priority project) – updating the signalling systems on all three line-groups of the Perth metropolitan railway network.
- Queensland regional road network safety improvements (High priority initiative) – IA says 65 per cent of fatal deaths on Queensland roads occur outside the major cities. This initiative is focused on addressing that issue, and could provide wider centrelines, centre barriers and increase shoulder widths, among other things
- Brisbane northern suburbs corridor capacity (High priority initiative) – the initiative is to improve the capacity of the transport corridors between the Brisbane CBD and northern suburbs. It could include upgrading intersections and enhancing existing roads through additional lanes and smart technologies
- Browns Plains to South East Busway public transport connectivity (Priority initiative) – improving the capacity, safety and public transport connectivity of the corridor between Browns Plains and the South East Busway. This could involve adding priority bus lanes and upgrading key public transport interchanges and stations
- Browns Plains to Beaudesert road capacity and safety (Priority initiative) – improving the capacity and safety of the corridor between Browns Plains and Beaudesert. This could include upgrading intersections, and widening existing lanes or constructing new lanes along the highway
- Queensland inland freight route capacity and safety (Priority initiative) – enhancing the productive capacity and safety of the Inland Freight Route so that it can provide an alternative to the Bruce Highway. This could include fixing pavements and constructing additional lanes for some sections
- Mooloolah River Interchange capacity and safety (Priority initiative) – improving the capacity and safety of the Mooloolah River Interchange, potentially through upgrading the access roads, entry/exit ramps and the configuration of the interchange.
Australian Capital Territory
- Australian Institute of Sport modernisation (Priority initiative) – IA says more than 15 of the facilities at the research and training hub are over 30 years old and not fit for purpose. This initiative would deliver improved or new facilities for athletes, coaches, researchers, visitors and tourists, while taking advantage of collaborations with universities and industry on innovation and research.