Victorian Regional Rail Link among projects to be 're-profiled' to pay for floods

FEDERAL Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, this week outlined the remaining infrastructure projects that will have their funding deferred to help cover the cost of flood reconstruction.

It follows the Australian Government's announcement late last month that it would cut or defer spending and impose a 'flood levy' to pay the estimated $5.6 billion cost of rebuilding flood-affected regions in Australia.

Spending cuts will total approximately $2.8 billion, infrastructure deferrals will provide $1 billion and $1.8 billion will be gained through the flood levy.

In Victoria, as anticipated by the Victorian Government, $500 million of Commonwealth funding for the Regional Rail Link will be re-profiled, as will $20 million of funding for the Princes Highway East upgrade from Traralgon to Sale.

In NSW, $100 million will be re-profiled from the Northern Sydney Freight Line "to better reflect construction milestones."

The statement by Mr Albanese said "planning on each [project] will continue and all of them will be delivered."

The Australian Government previously announced that it would withdraw its funding from South Australia's O-Bahn City Access project, stating that the project would not proceed due to "a significant scope reduction of the original project resulting in only limited transport benefits."

The deferral of $325 million worth of infrastructure in Queensland, also previously announced, includes:

  • Duplication of the highway from Vantassel Street to Flinders Highway;
  • Alternate project arising from Herbert River floodplain study;
  • Realign the highway from Sandy Corner to Collinsons Lagoon;
  • Intersection upgrades along the Burdekin Road;
  • Upgrade of highway between Cabbage Tree Creek to Carman Road and Back Creek Range; and
  • Upgrade of highway between Caboolture to Caloundra.

Late last month, the Queensland Government announced that it would delay the start of construction of the Cross River Rail project by "at least two years," potentially also delaying the development of inner-city urban renewal areas.

The $8 billion project, which is currently in the detailed feasibility phase, involves a new north-south rail line in Brisbane's inner city, including a new tunnel under the Brisbane River and four underground inner-city rail stations.

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