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Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Page: 3611

Mr ALBANESE (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) (9:11 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I am pleased to introduce the Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Amendment Bill 2009.

It renames the AusLink (National Land Transport) Act 2005 (the principal act), as the Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Act 2009.

This bill is central to the effective delivery of the government’s road and rail infrastructure investment through the Nation Building Program—a program currently worth more than $26 billion.

In New South Wales we are investing over $8.7 billion through the Nation Building Program.

We are making a record investment in the Pacific Highway which will see a range of projects delivered, including:

The Ballina bypass; the upgrade to the Sapphire to Woolgoolga section; the Banora Point deviation; the Bulahdelah bypass and the Glenugie upgrade.

We are also investing in the Hume Highway to finalise its duplication by 2012.

The final work on the Hume Highway is the construction of the bypasses at Tarcutta, Woomargama and Holbrook.

Due to the funding the government brought forward in its December 2008 nation-building package, the Tarcutta and Woomargama bypasses will commence earlier and be completed in late 2011—more than six months ahead of schedule.

The Holbrook bypass is scheduled for completion by 2012.

Further projects in New South Wales include:

  • the Alstonville bypass on New South Wales’s mid-North Coast.
  • the duplication of the Great Western Highway from the M4 at Penrith to Katoomba.
  • the upgrade of the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow.
  • a package to improve road and rail access in Port Botany.
  • an investment towards freight rail upgrades between Sydney and Newcastle—a future northern Sydney freight link.
  • An investment towards a new intermodal facility at Moorebank.

In Queensland we are investing $7.3 billion through the Nation Building Program.

We are investing in the Pacific Motorway, including the Daisy Hill to Springwood South upgrade, the Robina and Varsity Lakes interchanges and the Nerang South interchange.

We are making a record investment in the Ipswich Motorway, including the upgrade between Dinmore to Goodna, Wacol to Darra and the Logan interchange.

Our record investment in the Bruce Highway includes:

  • The upgrade of the southern approach to Cairns
  • The Douglas arterial duplication
  • The Cardwell Range realignment
  • The work on the Townsville port access road
  • The upgrade of the southern approach to Mackay
  • The Calliope crossroads upgrade
  • The upgrading of the southern approaches to Gin Gin
  • The upgrade of Cooroy to Curra (section B)
  • The upgrade of Caboolture to Caloundra.

In Victoria we are investing a record $4.3 billion through the Nation Building Program.

Projects in Victoria include:

  • The Western Ring Road upgrade
  • The West Gate Bridge strengthening
  • Works on the Princes Highway East between Traralgon and Sale
  • Works on the Geelong Ring Road Stage 4A (Anglesea overpass)
  • Works on the Geelong Ring Road Stage 4B (Anglesea Road to Princes Highway)
  • Realignment of Anthony’s Cutting on the Western Highway
  • Duplication from Ballarat to Stawell on the Western Highway
  • Upgrade between Stawell and the South Australian border on the Western Highway
  • The Nagambie Bypass on the Goulburn Valley Highway
  • The Kings Road interchange on Calder Freeway
  • The rail upgrades at Geelong Port and on the Melbourne-Adelaide line
  • Funding towards the Dandenong Intermodal Terminal
  • Funding towards the Somerton Intermodal Terminal
  • The duplication of the Princes Highway from Waurn Ponds to Winchelsea
  • The upgrade of the Springvale Road intersection
  • The Clyde Road upgrade

In Western Australia we are investing $2.8 billion through the Nation Building Program.

Projects include:

  • Works on the Great Eastern and Roe Highway interchange
  • The upgrade of the Great Eastern Highway from Kooyong Road to Tonkin Highway
  • Works on the Bunbury Port Access and Outer Ring Road
  • The duplication of Dampier Highway
  • Works on the Mandurah Entrance Road
  • Works on the Reid Highway and Alexander Drive Interchange
  • Works on the Esperance Port Access Road
  • The Daddo Road grade separation
  • The extension of Hepburn Avenue
  • Works on the Ocean Reef Road

In South Australia we are investing $1.7 billion through the Nation Building Program.

Projects include:

  • The Northern Expressway and Port Wakefield Road upgrade
  • The Dukes Highway upgrade
  • Work on Victor Harbour, Main South Road and Seaford Road junction
  • Work on the Main North Road between Gawler and Tarlee
  • The Mount Gambier Northern Bypass
  • Work on Crystal Brook to Redhill
  • Work on Montague Road

In Tasmania we are investing $800 million through the Nation Building Program.

Projects include:

  • The Brighton Bypass
  • Rail capacity improvements at Rhyndaston
  • Planning for Bagdad Bypass and new Bridgewater Bridge
  • Upgrade of the Midland Highway
  • Work to improve capacity on the main north-south rail line
  • The Kingston Bypass
  • The upgrade of north-east freight roads
  • The upgrade of Illawarra Link Road

In the Northern Territory we are investing over $580 million through the Nation Building Program.

Projects include:

  • Work on the Tiger Brennan Drive
  • Improving flood immunity on Port Keats Road
  • The upgrade of the Plenty Highway
  • The sealing of the Buntine Highway
  • The upgrade of the Central Arnhem Road
  • The upgrade of the Tanami Road
  • A high-level bridge over the Macarthur River at Borroloola
  • The upgrade of the Maryvale Road and Hughes Stock Route

In the ACT we are investing close to $200 million through the Nation Building Program.

This funding includes the road upgrade in Canberra’s airport precinct as well as the Tharwa Road-Lanyon Drive upgrade.

Other investments through the Nation Building Program include:

  • $1.75 billion in the Roads to Recovery program
  • $500 million in the black spots program
  • Our additional investment in this program through our stimulus packages is seeing an additional 607 black spots addressed right across the nation.
  • $70 million in the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program
  • $150 million in the Boom Gates for Rail Crossings Program

All states and territories have signed up to deliver the Nation Building Program.

It should be noted that, when in government, it took the now opposition more than a year to get all states and territories to sign up to their AusLink program.

Our Nation Building Program has the full support of all states and territories and its implementation is underway.

Last night we announced an additional investment of $8.5 billion in rail, roads and ports infrastructure for Australia to lift productivity.

Investing in nation building today to support jobs and provide infrastructure for tomorrow.

The Rudd Labor government will invest $35 billion over six years on transport infrastructure.

The Howard government failed to deliver on Australia’s infrastructure needs and left us with an infrastructure deficit.

In relation to the bill, the amendments to the act put in place the appropriate provisions to ensure the effective delivery of the suite of initiatives now funded under this program.

The bill proposes changes to ensure:

  • more effective provisions for major road and rail infrastructure projects on the national land transport network, as well as for those projects that are off the network; and
  • more effective provisions for the Roads to Recovery program and the black spots program.

Given the transition over the last 18 months from AusLink to the implementation of the Nation Building Program, this bill changes the references to AusLink in the act so that it is now referred to as the Nation Building Program.

The bill will also amend the principal act to make it clear that part 6 can be used to approve funding for projects which are off the national land transport network in both regional and metropolitan areas of Australia.

This bill also makes appropriate provisions to allow sites that are on the national land transport network to become eligible for black spot projects funding under the act. Previously, only off-network black spots were eligible under this part.

This change will facilitate the effective implementation of the additional $150 million investment in black spot projects by the government.

The bill will also provide further flexibility around the Roads to Recovery program by enabling the amounts of funding to local government authorities to be increased if the minister sees fit.

Previously, no increases could be made to the amounts specified in the Roads to Recovery list after the initial list for a funding period had been determined.

The bill will also enable the minister to exempt a funding recipient from having to call for tenders on a project approved under section 9 of the act where the cost of the work will be under an amount prescribed in the regulations.

Finally, an amendment to the principal act is being made to ensure the minister can specify a funding condition that a funding recipient adheres to the terms of a matter contained in any other instrument or document as in force or existing from time to time.

The intention of this amendment is to enable the minister to require recipients of federal funds to adhere to the terms of a nominated instrument or document as they are at any given time.

So, if the terms change in any way, the funding recipient is required to adhere to the changed terms, not those which were in force at the time the funding condition was originally made.

This bill plays an integral part in advancing the government’s Nation Building Program and deserves the support of the parliament.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Lindsay) adjourned.