Infrastructure Australia, the nation's independent infrastructure advisor, has positively assessed the business cases for Perth's Armadale Road Upgrade and the Sydney Metro City & Southwest, with the projects added to the Infrastructure Priority List as Priority and High Priority respectively.
The Sydney Metro project will deliver 30.5 kilometres of metro rail between Chatswood and Bankstown, including a new Sydney Harbour Tunnel Crossing. It will increase rail capacity through the Sydney CBD, improve reliability and resilience of the wider transport network, and reshape the urban profile of Sydney.
"Sydney Metro City & Southwest is an important step in ensuring that Sydney remains a competitive, global city and an attractive place to live and work," Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive, Philip Davies said.
"The strategic merit of this project lies not just in its ability to increase Sydney's productivity and rail network capacity but its potential to reshape the urban profile of the city.
"The project will enable higher density residential development along the rail corridor; providing more direct and rapid connections between where people live and work.
"The positive assessment of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest business case reflects that this is a sound investment for Sydney—an investment that will enhance the productivity and connectivity of a city that accounts for one-fifth of Australia's economic output", Mr Davies said.
The Armadale Road Upgrade will upgrade seven kilometres of Armadale Road between Anstey Road and Tapper Road from the existing two-lane single carriageway road to a four-lane dual carriageway. It also includes intersection upgrades and improved pedestrian and cycling access.
The upgrade of the road, which is a strategic freight route connecting Armadale and the south-eastern metropolitan area with Fremantle Port, is expected to deliver major benefits for the state by freeing up the east-west link to WA's largest container trade and cargo port.
"Adding the Armadale Road Upgrade to the Infrastructure Priority List demonstrates this is a sound investment that will relieve a major bottleneck for commuters and the state's export industry," Mr Davies said.
"In the years ahead, both the WA and broader national freight supply networks will be under immense strain not just from growing trade demand, but from our own domestic population increases and a rapidly changing technological environment.
"The economic cost of this congestion is significant. The Australian Infrastructure Audit found that without action to increase capacity and better manage demand, the cost of delays on the road transport network in Perth alone would grow from $2 billion in 2011 to $16 billion in 2031.
"This project goes a good way to ensuring that congestion on this critical freight connection is not a drag on the state economy, especially as WA embarks on its economic transition."
The business case evaluation summary for the projects, and the updated Infrastructure Priority List, are available from the Infrastructure Australia website at <http://infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/>.