Albanese delays transport projects for three years

Transport Minister delays projects in Victoria and NSW to use the funds on flood recovery efforts

February 8, 2011

The Federal Government will delay transport projects in Victoria and NSW for up to three years to pay for flood recovery efforts.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese today announced more than $600 million would be taken from road and rail upgrades in both states.

Albanese says planning will continue on all projects and they will be delivered.

The Government will take $500 million from the Regional Rail Link project in Victoria, while another $100 million will be taken from the Northern Sydney Freight Line.

Albanese says $20 million will be taken from the Princes Highway East upgrade from Traralgon to Sale.

"In economic terms, the recent floods represent the worst natural disaster in our nation’s history. This extraordinary event has required an extraordinary response from all levels of government," Albanese says.

He says the Government is committed to rebuilding roads, bridges and community infrastructure affected by the floods, which left a damage bill of more than $5 billion in Queensland alone.

The Government has also already delayed six projects on the Bruce Highway to use the $325 million saved on recovery efforts.

This includes the upgrade between Caboolture and Caloundra and the project to connect the Bruce between Vantassel Street to the Flinders Highway.

An upgrade to the route between Cabbage Tree Creek to Carman Road and Back Creek Range is on hold.

The realignment of the highway from Sandy Corner to Collinsons Lagoon has also been delayed, along with the Burdekin Road and Herbert River floodplain projects.

The Government decided to scrap its promised O-Bahn public transport investment in South Australia.

A flood levy will be used to raise $1.8 billion, with the Government imposing a one-off tax on people earning more than $50,001.

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