AusLink is an Australian Government land transport funding program, established in June 2004 and administered by the Department of Transport and Regional Services. It was first proposed in a [ Green Paper] (see Green Paper), issued in November 2002. In response 550 submissions were lodged by State and Local Governments, Industry, Environment Groups, Tertiary Education and Research Groups, Bicycle Groups and interested members of the public. In May 2004 the Australian Government issued a [ White Paper] (see White Paper), setting out the policy to be adopted by the Government in response.

The White Paper states that AusLink is based on better long-term planning, encouragement of the best ideas and solutions and targeting investment to achieve the best outcomes for people, the national economy, regions and communities and that it has the following core components:
* a defined National Network (superseding the former National Highway system) of important road and rail infrastructure links and their intermodal connections;
* the National Land Transport Plan which outlines the Government's approach to improving and integrating the National Network and the investments it will make;
* a single funding regime, under a new AusLink programme, for the National Network
* separately earmarked funding for local and regional transport improvements;
* new legislative, intergovernmental and institutional mechanisms.

AusLink is administered under the AusLink (National Land Transport Act) 2005. [ [ ComLaw Acts - AusLink (National Land Transport) Act 2005 (93) ] ]

National Network

Australian Government land transport funding is focused on the National Network, which includes rail and road corridors, connecting at one or both ends to State Capital Cities:
* Sydney - Melbourne, road (Hume Highway) and rail
* Sydney - Brisbane, road (Pacific Highway route and New England and Cunningham Highways route) and rail (North Coast railway line)
* Sydney - Adelaide, road (Sturt Highway) and rail (via Cootamundra, Parkes, Broken Hill and Crystal Brook)
* Melbourne - Adelaide, road (Western and Dukes Highways) and rail (via Geelong)
* Melbourne - Brisbane, road (Goulburn Valley, Newell, Gore and Warrego Highways)
* Adelaide - Perth, road (Princes, Eyre, Coolgardie-Esperance and Great Eastern Highways) and rail (Trans-Australian Railway)
* Perth - Darwin, road (Great Northern Highway and Victoria Highways)
* Adelaide - Darwin, road (Stuart Highway) and rail (Port Augusta-Darwin)
* Brisbane - Darwin, road (Warrego, Landsborough and Barkly Highways)
* Brisbane - Cairns, road (Bruce Highway)
* Brisbane - Townsville, rail
* Townsville - Mount Isa, Queensland, road (Flinders Highway) and rail
* Melbourne - Sale, road (Princes Highway)
* Perth - Bunbury, road (South Western Highway)
* Hobart - Burnie, including link to Bell Bay, Tasmania, road (Midland, Bass and East Tamar Highway) and rail
* Melbourne - Mildura, road (Calder Highway) and rail (via Geelong)
* Sydney - Dubbo, road (Great Western and Mitchell Highways) and rail (via Bathurst and Parkes
* Canberra connectors to the Hume Highway (Federal and Barton Highways), road only
* Sydney - Wollongong, road (Southern Freeway and Princes Highway)
* Melbourne - Geelong, road (Princes Highway) and rail
* some urban road and rail links in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, connecting the long distance links to each other and to ports and airports
* Hunter Valley rail links (Dubbo to Merrygoen, Werris Creek Muswellbrook and Port of Newcastle and Merrygoen to Muswellbrook via Ulan)

The White Paper announced funding of $12,708 million for road and rail projects in the first five years of AusLink, 2004-05 to 2008-09 (Australian financial years run from 1 July to 30 June). In the 2007-08 Federal Budget, it was announced $22,290 million would be spent on Auslink II from 2009-10 to 2013-14.

Road funding

Major projects underway or being planned ( [ Auslink project search] and [ Information on the funding projects in the states and territories] )

Sydney - Melbourne (Hume Highway)
* Hume Highway or M5 Motorway - Brooks Road to Raby Road, widening from 2 lanes to 4 lanes in each direction and from Raby Road to Narellan Road from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in each direction ($150m: 20% funded by NSW) - Widening to commence in mid-2009 and to be opened by Mid-2011 [ MEDIA RELEASE] [ Hope at last, Marcathur Chronical]
* Hume Highway at Coolac bypass ($179m) - Construction underway since May 2007, to be completed in December 2009. [ AbiGroup, Coolac Bypass, NSW] [ Coolac bypass construction officially begins] [ RTA, Hume Highway – Coolac Bypass]
* Hume Highway; Duplication of the Sheahan bridge in Gundagai ($78m) - Under construction, to be completed December 2009 [ Hume Highway - Sheahan Bridge duplication]
* Hume Highway duplicating 67 km of the "single carriageway sections" between the Olympic Highway Junction at Table Top and the Sturt Highway Junction, 6km north of Tarcutta ($800m) - Due to be opened by December 2009. [ AbiGroup, Hume Hwy southern alliance] [ RTA Hume Hwy package] [ Work set to start on Hume Hwy duplication] [ [ Northern Section] ] [ [ Southern Section] ]
* Hume Highway; Bypasses of Tarcutta, Holbrook and Woomargama, totalling 20 kilometres ($700m) - Proposed routes are yet to be determined and on-going planning; Construction due to commence in 2010 and to be opened by 2012.Sydney - Brisbane Pacific Highway route [ [ Pacific Highway upgrade ] ]
* F3 Widening between Cowan and Mount Colah (north of Sydney), widening of the freeway from four lanes to six lanes in the median strip ($119m: 20% funded by New South Wales) To be completed in 2009. [ [ NSW Nationals: Pressing Ahead with the Pacific and Hume Highways - Vaile ] ] [ F3 Widening]
* Myall Way intersection (road), from an at-grade to grade-separation (10km north of the Karuah Bypass) / ($10m from commonwealth government; Joint funding with the NSW government, which is yet to provide the other $10m) - EIS/SIS, Reviews and $10m federal Government funding approval obtained, waiting for the other $10m of funding approval from the NSW Government. [ Opposition calls for matching funds for intersection work]
* Karuah to Bulahdelah upgrade, 1km north of the Myall Way intersection to 1km south of Booral road, 3km south of Bulahdelah / Also known as sections 2 and 3 ($270m joint funding) - Both sections to be completed jointly by 2009. [ [ Abigroup | Karuah to Bulahdelah, NSW ] ] [ [ Karuah to Bulahdelah sections 2 and 3 ] ] [ [ - Printer Friendly Page ] ]
* Bulahdelah bypass ($300m joint funding) - Funding was approved in May 2006, final planning approval granted in October, 2007 - Construction commenced in November 2007 on the southern section and to be completed by 2011. [ [ Plan for the future - Local - General - Myall Coast ] ] [ [ Bypass given green light - Local - General - Myall Coast ] ] [ [ NSW Nationals: Figures Hidden In Budget - Turner ] ] [ [ Bulahdelah upgrade ] ] [ [ Bulahdelah Bypass Funding Approved ] ] [ [ $123 million Bulahdelah highway bypass approved - Local - General - Manning River Times ] ]
* Coopernook to Herons Creek deviation, bypassing Johns River, Kew and Moorland ($450m joint funding), incoperating Coopernook to Moorland and Moorland to Herons Creek joint dual carriageway construction - Will be completed by December 2009. [ [ Moorland truck stop's uncertain future - Local - General - Manning River Times ] ] [ [ Coopernook to Herons Creek ] ] [ [ Contract ID: Project Alliance Agreement ] ]
* Bonville deviation, south of Coffs Harbour ($245m joint funding) - To be completed in September 2008. [ [ Welcome to the Bonville upgrade ] ] [ [ Abigroup | Bonville Upgrade, NSW ] ] [ [ AusLink Projects ] ]
* Ballina bypass ($640m joint funding) - Project approval was granted in 1998, soft soil environmental issues have been resolved since June 2007 and major construction is to commence in 2008 with completion in 2012. [ AusLink Projects ] ] [ [ Ballina bypass ] ] [ [ Initial works ] ] [ [ Ballina bypass cost blows out to $640m] ]
* Banora Point upgrade ($5m joint funding) - EIS and SIS underway and planning a 6-lane 2.5km freeway that bypasses the one traffic signal at Terranora Road [ [ Banora Point upgrade ] ] . Sydney - Brisbane (New England and Cunningham Highways route)
* Weakleys Drive interchange at Beresfield ($51.8m) - To be completed December 2008. [ [ Weakleys Drive interchange ] ] [ [ Northern / Hunter Region ] ]
* Sunnyside realignment (67 km north of Armidale) - Construction is expected to begin in late 2008; With completion by 2010. [ [ New England Highway at Sunnyside ] ]
* F3 to Branxton link. Pre-construction work underway. Construction is not happening, because there is no funding for the project.Sydney - Adelaide (Sturt Highway)
* Duplication from Gawler to Daveyston and numerous intersection upgrades ($100m) - Construction began in 2007, to be completed by end of 2009. [ [ Sturt Highway - Accelerated Upgrade Package] ] Melbourne - Adelaide (Western and Dukes Highways)
* Deer Park Bypass and Leakes Road Interchange, in western Melbourne ($294m, 20% funded by Victoria) - due to be completed in 2009.Melbourne - Brisbane (Goulburn Valley, Newell, Gore and Warrego Highways)
* Moree Bypass ($35m) - To be completed in mid-2009. [ [ Pressing Ahead With The Pacific And Hume Highways ] ] Adelaide - Perth (Princes, Eyre, Coolgardie-Esperance and Great Eastern Highways)Perth - Darwin (Great Northern Highway and Victoria Highways)
* Great Northern Highway upgrading, Perth to Wubin ($86m) - Completion due in 2009.Fact|date=March 2007
* Victoria Highway - Victoria River and Lost Creek Bridge Replacement ($20m) - completion due in 2008.Adelaide - Darwin (Stuart Highway)
* Tiger Brennan Drive/Berrimah Road upgrade in Darwin ($27.3m. joint funded) - due for completion in 2008.Brisbane - Darwin (Warrego, Landsborough and Barkly Highways)
* Toowoomba Second Range Crossing planning ($43m).Brisbane - Cairns (Bruce Highway)
* Caboolture Motorway widening ($200m) - due to be completed in 2009.
* Douglas Arterial and Townsville Ring Road ($77m: shared funding, about half to be funded by Queensland) - due to be completed in 2009.
* Tully Flood Immunity ($80m) - due to be completed in 2009.Townsville - Mount Isa (Flinders Highway)
* Shoulder widening for about 23 kilometers ($29m) - Due to be completed mid-2008.Melbourne - Sale (Princes Highway)
* Traralgon bypass ($5m: Victorian Government funding) - Planning commenced in 2004 [] .
* Duplication between Traralgon to Sale ($450m: joint funding) - Planning commenced in 2006.Perth - Bunbury (South Western Highway)
* Peel Deviation and Kwinana Freeway extension/New Perth-Bunbury Hwy ($450m: $170m from Australian government, balance from Western Australia).Hobart - Burnie, including link to Bell Bay (Midland and the East Tamar Highway)
*Brighton Bypass (funding not yet finalised) The bypassing of several small towns north of Hobart on the Midland Highway ["Road To Federal Funding", "The Mercury", May 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.] ["Push for bypass grows", "The Mercury", April 19, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-19.] Melbourne - Mildura (Calder Highway)
* Kyneton to Faraday duplication ($178m: joint funding from Australian and Victorian Governments) - To be completed in 2009.
* Faraday to Ravenswood duplication ($214m: joint funding from Australian and Victorian Governments) - To be completed early 2009 (both projects to provide four-lane conditions from Melbourne to Bendigo). [ [ Calder Corridor : VicRoads ] ] Sydney - Dubbo (Great Western and Mitchell Highways)
* Woodford to Wentworth Falls (to provide four-lane conditions from Katoomba to Sydney). [ [ Great Western Highway ] ] Canberra connectors (From the Hume Highway to the Federal or the Barton Highway)
* Planning for duplication of the Barton Highway and the Murrumbateman Bypass ($20m) [ [ Addressing Barton Highway safety - Local - General - Yass Tribune ] ] [ [ Money, money, money! Funds flow for Barton Higway - Local - General - Yass Tribune ] ] [ [ Barton planning progress - Local - General - Yass Tribune ] ] Sydney - Wollongong (Southern Freeway and Princes Highway)
* Princes Highway between Bendalong Road and the Conjola Creek Bridge also known as Conjola Mountain deviation ($10 million) - Due for completion in May 2010.
* South of Nowra duplication ($15 million) - Due for completion in August 2008. Melbourne - Geelong (Princes Highway)
*Geelong Ring Road ($380m, joint funding: $186m from Australian Government, balance from Victoria) - Section 1 is open to traffic; Sections 2 and 3 is still under-going construction; Section 1, completed June 2008; Section 2, due to be completed September 2008; Section 3, due to be completed March 2009 [ [ The Geelong Advertiser ] ] and Sections 4A, 4B and 4C - In planning , the Victorian government has promised their share of the funding but is waiting for the Federal government to allocate their share. [ [,21985,22535568-661,00.html Peter Costello pledges $80m to notorious road blackspot | Herald Sun ] ] [ [,21985,22604878-661,00.html Kevin Rudd opens bidding in Victorian race | Herald Sun ] ] [ [ The Warrnambool Standard - Warrnambool news, classifieds and community ] ] [ [ The Geelong Advertiser ] ] [ [ Farmers slam transport policies - Breaking News - National - Breaking News ] ] [ [ ALP commits $107.5m to Geelong Ring Road - Breaking News - National - Breaking News ] ] [ [,21985,22615863-2862,00.html Labor pledge has a ring to it | Herald Sun ] ] [ [ About Geelong Ring Road : VicRoads ] ]

Rail funding

Rail funding has been announced for the following projects ( [ Auslink project search] ):
* $550 million from AusLink and additional Australian Rail Track Corporation funds for an upgrade the 684 km of AusLink Network track and signalling along the North-South rail corridor from Maitland to Brisbane to reduce transit times substantially and to permit more trains to operate safely on the largely single track line.
* $192 million through the Australian Rail Track Corporation for a new access route for freight trains through the south-western Sydney metropolitan area from Macarthur to Chullora, the Southern Sydney Freight Line project.
* $110 million on the Rail Corporation New South Wales metropolitan track system towards improving rail access for freight trains between Strathfield and Hornsby. Some of these funds will be available during the later part of the current five-year AusLink investment programme, for the development of the Port Botany rail link.
* $110 million to the Government of Victoria for a new rail link and grade separation from Footscray Road between the Dynon intermodal freight precinct and the Port of Melbourne.
* $45 million to convert the broad gauge line between Geelong and Mildura and between Melbourne and Albury to standard gauge.
* $42 million to the Australian Rail Track Corporation to extend the Code Division Multiple Access mobile phone system to cover the interstate rail network. This will achieve a single national media for voice and data communications for the non-metropolitan interstate rail system. This is being provided through Telstra and will later need to be converted to 3GSM when Telstra replaces its CDMA network with 3GSM.
* $40 million to the Australian Rail Track Corporation towards the cost of the line upgrading and signalling system between Tottenham, Victoria and West Footscray.
* $20.3 million to the Australian Rail Track Corporation to develop Australia's next generation of train control technology, including the capacity for computerised on-board signalling to replace the current track-side system, satellite-based location technology to track trains to within 3 metres, and a computerised warning system that alerts drivers to impending dangers.
* $20 million towards a Wodonga rail bypass to remove the Melbourne-Sydney line running through the centre of Wodonga.
* $8 million for crossing loop extensions at Jamestown, South Australia and Mingary, South Australia between Crystal Brook, South Australia and Broken Hill, New South Wales at Yarrabandia and Matakana between Broken Hill and Parkes.
* Up to $5 million from for a major study of the North-South rail corridor between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The study will examine future freight demand, capacity and options for development of the North-South rail corridor. It will form part of the broader AusLink corridor study of transport links between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
* $4 million for new passing loops at Mungala and Haig on the Trans-Australian Railway.
* $3.5 million for the upgrade and strengthening of the Albury Murray River rail bridge.
* $2.6 million for the installation of an In-Cab Activated Points System to avoid the need for train crew to manually change points (railroad switches).
* $2.5 million for the upgrading and strengthening of the Murray River Bridge at Murray Bridge, South Australia.


With the large budgets allocated to transport projects, AusLink is promoted in highlighting government spending on infrastructure.

However organisations such as the Australian Automobile Association are outspoken in their criticism that the spending equates to less than 15% of the excise the federal government collects on petrol, is spent on road related projects. Fact|date=June 2007

2007 Election

With the change of government in the November 2007 election, AusLink will be subordinated to a new organisation called Infrastructure Australia - Under the "Infrastructure Australia Act 2008".

See also

* One Nation (Infrastructure)


External links

* [ AusLink]
* [ NSW Bilateral funding schedule (road)]

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