Peter Costello


Launch of Coalition $2.45 Billion Victorian Roads Policy, Nagambie Victoria




Sunday, 4 November 2007

Today I am announcing that the Coalition Government will deliver $2.5 billion of road and rail funding under an integrated transport plan from our AusLink 2 Program between 2009-14.

And as part of the announcement I am making today we will be releasing details of a vision for 2020. Our plan for 2020 to meet Australia's transport infrastructure needs.

$2.5 billion that I am announcing today for integrated road and rail networks includes for the first time a commitment for $318 million for the Goulburn Valley Highway, to fund the Nagamabie Bypass, to begin planning on the Shepparton Bypass and to begin planning on the Strathmerton Deviation.

Now we have chosen this site here to announce the Nagambie Bypass because not so long ago there used to be a church on this site as the locals will know and right up until a point where a truck went right through the church. And that was the end of the church because the traffic that goes up the Goulburn Valley Highway comes right through the heart of Nagambie here.

The Goulburn Valley Highway is one of Australia's major transport arterial roads bringing produce out of the food bowl of Australia in the Goulburn Valley down to market in Melbourne and in many respects through the Port of Melbourne for export to the world.

So, this is a very, very important economic road and a huge investment of $318 million.

I want to pay tribute to my two colleagues Sharman Stone, the Member for Murray, and Sophie Mirabella, the Member for Indi, who have both lobbied ceaselessly for this program and of course the local councillors have been part of that too.

But it's a great announcement and I am very happy to be here today and I thank you for all the work that you've done.

The $2.5 billion includes not just the $318 million for the Goulburn Valley Highway - I am also announcing $810 million for the Western Highway.

We have previously announced as part of this package the duplication of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale and I am also announcing an upgrade of the Ravenswood Intersection for the Calder Highway.

I want to stress this is in addition to the Federally Funded Road Projects that we have already announced and some of the $2.5 billion has also been set aside for urban roads in Melbourne - the Springvale Road in Nunawading, the Frankston Bypass which I have also announced, Clyde Road which I have also announced, the strengthening of the West Gate Bridge and other important projects in Victoria.

Let me stress that you can only make this investment in road and in rail from a strong economy.

If we did not have a strong economy in Australia we wouldn't be investing in bypasses anywhere. And it is because of the economic strength, the record employment that we now have, the number of people that are now contributing to the building of our economy that we can make these wonderful announcements.

And they are wonderful announcements for Victoria, a wonderful announcement of course for Nagambie and the Goulburn Valley generally.

I hope that this plan for Australia's economic future will build a stronger economy. That is what our Government is about - building a stronger economy with better opportunity so we can fund better services and better infrastructure. And it's a great pleasure to make this announcement today. Thank you very much.

4 Nov 2007

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