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Roads of national importance.

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Minister for Transport & Regional Development

Hon Mark Vaile MP




The Howard/Fischer Government will, in its next term, make an additional $195 million available for works on Roads of National Importance and the National Hig hway system for the benefit of all Australians.


The Federal Minister for Transport and Regional Development, Mark Vaile, said the roads that will benefit directly from this additional funding commitment include:


* $100 million for the Great Western Highw ay between Penrith and Bathurst in New South Wales (a recently declared Road of National Importance);


* $30 million for the Pakenham Bypass in Victoria;


* $25 million for the Bruce Highway (Pine Rivers to Caboolture) in Queensland — part of the National Highway, and;


* $34 million for Main Road 92 in New South Wales


More road funding announcements will be made during the election campaign. Summaries of today’s announcements are as follows;





The Great Western Highway is the major Highway link over the Blue Mountains between western Sydney and the central west of NSW. Currently the Great Western Highway carries heavy volumes of traffic and it has a number of significant deficiencies.


This project will develop a major program of accelerated improvements to the Great Western Highway between Penrith and Dubbo in the central west of NSW (including the Mitchell Highway section, west of Bathurst). The works will involve a targeted strategic investment that aims to improve the condition of the road and provide major benefits for road safety, freight and tourism in the Central West and outer western Sydney.


The project demonstrates the Government’s leadership in addressing major transport issues of concern, and is of direct interest to both rural and urban NSW and the significant urban settlements of western Sydney.




Pakenham, located some 55km east from Melbourne, forms part of Victoria’s south east growth area. Pakenham’s existing population (28,000) is expected to increase nearly 70% over the next 15 years.


Construction of a new bypass will enable future development of Pakenham to proceed unimpeded.




The project will involve upgrading of the Bruce Highway to six and eight lanes between Pine Rivers and Caboolture, providing capacity for more traffic while easing congestion and improving safety and efficiency.




Deficiencies in the road network between the Illawarra region and southern inland NSW have been recognised by all levels of Government. As a result the Prime Minister recently committed the Commonwealth to fund as a Road of National Importance the upgrading of Main Road 92 between Nowra and Nerriga, connecting with southern inland NSW.


The project will improve efficiency, safety and qualit y of life for all who use this vital road link.


“The Keating Government limited Federal road funding to the national highway system, leaving many important links between highways such as ring roads, access roads to rural and regional centres and roads to important points of interface such as ports, without Federal funding.


“The Coalition Government has increased global road funding from $1.597 billion dollars in 1995-96 to $1.612 billion in the current Budget. And this has been done in a financial climate of massive deficit left to the Coalition Government by Labor”, Mr. Vaile said.


Mark Vaile is available for interview by contacting: 0417 980 009