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On the road again

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On the Road Again

A Labor Government will substantially increase road funding and reverse the Howard Government’s introduction of political discrimination in road funding criteria, the Shadow Minister for Transport, Mr Lindsay Tanner said today while launching Labor's Road Funding Policy in Townsville today.

“The Howard Government has cut Federal road funding substantially, particularly for the National Highway. The Government's forward estimates provide for National Highway maintenance funding to be cut in half. New road funding arrangements introduced by the Howard Government are designed for pork barrelling and political manipulation.

"A Labor Government will restore road funding to previous levels and ensure that integrity and objectivity return to the decision making process. Labor will provide an additional $150 million over three years for the National Highway, complete the upgrading of the Pacific

Highway, maintain the Black Spots programme, and complete all Roads of National Importance projects which have already commenced.

“ Labor will reform the guidelines for the Roads of National Importance Programme such that it becomes a means of extending the National Highway to incorporate roads of major national economic significance. Under the new arrangements the Federal Government will enter into joint funding agreements with the States to upgrade major roads to National Highway standard. These roads will then become part of the National Highway and the Federal Government will assume ongoing responsibility for their maintenance.

“A Labor Government will encourage the use of design-build-maintain contracts for major road projects to ensure that roads are built to acceptable standards with proper consideration being given to their long term maintenance.

"Labor will continue direct road funding to the States and local government and ensure that these funds are spent on roads only. Labor will negotiate with the States, local government and the road transport industry to develop an agreed funding strategy for the upgrading of bridges to enable increased mass limits for appropriate vehicles.

“A Beazley Labor Government will restore fairness and transparency to Australia's road funding arrangements. During Labor’s thirteen years in office, in 1995-96 dollars, Federal road funding averaged $1.7 billion per annum. Under John Howard, in 1995-96 dollars, this average has dropped to $1.5 billion. A Labor Government will reverse this erosion, and ensure that national road funding is directed to the areas of greatest national economic importance."

7 September 1998

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner on 0419 881 282 or Warren Mundy on 0416 045 987.