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Coalition challenges road providers



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D A V ID H a w k e r : Federal M ember for Wannon Shadow Minister for Land TransportJv AUSTRALIA

B9

M e d i a R e l e a s e

Coalition Challenges Ro a d Pr o v id er s

Road providers face a big challenge to get better value for our road dollar.

Addressing a conference on the new agenda for road efficiency, in Sydney today, the Shadow Minister for Land Transport, David Hawker, listed several ways for road builders and road providers to improve efficiency in road construction and maintenance.

"Almost $14 million per day - $583,000 per hour - is spent on our road system and it is expected that freight carried on roads will increase 100% in the next decade, while cars will increase by over 30 per cent.

"Better roads for your money' has to be the new slogan for an Australia urgently needing a better road system during a period when every dollar must be made to count.

"Maximising the value that the users of roads and the taxpayers get from the annual expenditure of $5 billion spent annually on road construction and maintenance must be an issue that is addressed seriously in the next few years.

"Accountability, at all levels, is necessary and can really only be achieved by giving the voters sufficient information to decide if the job is being well done. This includes which level of government is responsible for a road and how the funds are raised.

"The increasing trend towards private sector involvement in ropd maintenance is showing significant cost savings estimated to be between 20 and 30 per cent. 1

"The need for tax reform to encourage private investment in infrastructure is crucial, and only the Coalition is tackling this issue seriously.

"There needs to he improvement in the methods of evaluating the performance of the road system if we hope to improve it. There also needs to be more reliable and long term funding for roads.

"Delays in introducing new technology could be costing up to 10 per cent of the value of road construction and this cannot be afforded.

"The importance of roads to Australia cannot be underestimated and the only way that we will get improvements is to look at every aspect of road construction and maintenance operations. We need better and more roads for our money.

"I believe that unless we can identify and achieve savings of many hundreds of millions then we are not serious about micro-reform. There can be no sacred cows.

ends 30 June 1992

Contact: David Hawker (055) 72 1100 ;

Janice Wvkcs (06) 277 4231 or (06) 288 3946