THE Australian Government last week said it will fully fund a $5 million strategy to establish Princes Highway priority upgrades between Sydney and Port Augusta, with the intention of developing a 10-year program of works across three states.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the strategy will prioritise short, medium, and long term projects across the corridor to help the individual states and Australian Government identify future funding priorities.
"We need to work across state borders to develop a corridor plan for the Princes Highway which is a critical link for regional visitor economies, agriculture, energy, the timber industry and local traffic," Mr Chester said.
"In Victoria, sections of the Princes Highway have been deemed to be the highest risk sections of road in the state.
"I'm keen to work with the New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian state governments to pull together any existing planning work and develop a 10 year rolling program of works."
The Australian Government has already invested $634 million to upgrade the highway across the three states, including duplication works between Traralgon and Sale, upgrades between Winchelsea and the South Australian border and planning for a new bridge across the Shoalhaven River at Nowra.
In addition, Mr Chester also announced the first review of the National Land Transport Network since 2014, which will allow all governments, territories and industry stakeholders to have their say on future corridor priorities across the country.
"When the last review of the National Land Transport Network was conducted we undertook to take a regular review process of the Network to ensure it aligns with current infrastructure investment," Mr Chester said.
The review will commence in early 2018 and will focus on the current network to see what needs to be removed or added to ensure it reflects the current freight movements across the country. A formal consultation process as part of the review will be announced in the new year.