Four projects labelled as infrastructure priorities

Infrastructure Australia has assessed four business cases for major infrastructure projects around Australia and added them to its national project priority list.

The Infrastructure Priority List identifies nationally significant projects and initiatives in every state and territory and is continually updated as the Infrastructure Australia board receives and assesses new business cases from project proponents.

Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Philip Davies said the board had positively assessed business cases for:

  • Bruce Highway Upgrade (Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway Queensland)
  • M1 Pacific Motorway-Gateway Motorway Merge Upgrade southbound lanes (Queensland)
  • Eyre Infrastructure Project (Iron Road South Australia)
  • North-South Corridor (Darlington Upgrade Project South Australia)

“Infrastructure Australia is currently assessing a record number of business cases as Australian governments and industry embrace the need to better align project proposals with an identified infrastructure need,” Mr Davies said.

“Assessing a project for inclusion on the Infrastructure Priority List follows a rigorous process. This enables us to give decision makers the information they need to invest in the best infrastructure projects for our growing communities.”

Mr Davies said the assessment process involves interrogating the individual costs and benefits of a proposed project to determine whether it has the potential to meet an identified infrastructure need.

It also assess the project’s strategic fit, deliverability and economic, social and environmental impacts.

“Adding these projects to our Infrastructure Priority List as priority projects demonstrates that each of the projects are sound investments that address an issue of national significance.

“Upgrading the Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway section of the Bruce Highway will ease congestion and improve road safety in a section of the highway that is vital in connecting regional centres and enabling significant freight movement within and between regions.

“The Eyre Infrastructure Project has been added to the Infrastructure Priority List as a priority project. The project addresses the need for additional high-capacity port and rail infrastructure on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula to enable mineral resources exports.

“The board also positively assessed the South Australian Government’s proposal to upgrade a 3.3km section of Adelaide’s North-South Corridor between South Road and the Southern Expressway, as part of a broader $2.5 billion upgrade between Gawler and Noarlunga.

“The Gateway Motorway Merge upgrade will provide additional capacity for the Pacific Motorway between Tugun and Brisbane. This is the busiest road corridor in South East Queensland which sees an average of 78,500 vehicles travelling southbound per day,” Mr Davies said.

One of the newly added projects, The M1 Gateway Merge, joins the M1 Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes upgrade as a priority project on a national level and was submitted on a 80-20 funding basis.

Queensland Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey said this cemented what the M1 delegation had been saying all along.

“These projects are of national significance, they are part of the National Land Transport Network and should be funded 80-20, not 50-50 as the Federal Government would have us believe,” Mr Bailey said.

“The interesting thing about this latest report is that it has also changed the category of the M1 Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes upgrade to National Connectivity.

“National priority, national connectivity, National Land Transport Network – I’m not sure how many more national viewpoints the Federal Government needs to prove this should be majority funded by them.”

Mr Bailey also welcomed the inclusion of the Bruce Highway Upgrade – Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway – in the national priority list which was already funded under the 80-20 funding model.

“The Bruce Highway Upgrade—Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway is a $1.134 billion project, funded on an 80-20 basis under the Infrastructure Investment Program with the Australian Government contributing $907.2 million and the Queensland Government contributing $226.8 million.

“Tenders are expected to be announced for this in the coming weeks,” Mr Bailey said.

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