Commonwealth pledges funding for motorway
The Federal Government has announced it will commit funding to towards the Westconnex road project, subject to a number of conditions outlined by the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that the Federal Government would provide funding to the project if the project establishes direct route through to the CBD and Port Botany.
Ms Gillard detailed a number of provisos that the project would have to meet before the Federal Government would open funding.
“The NSW Government’s current proposal does not connect motorists along the M4 motorway directly to the City nor does it does take freight directly to Port Botany from the M5. Infrastructure Australia will continue working with the NSW Government to ensure the project achieves these objectives and is delivered in a way that ensures best value for tax payer’s money,” Ms Gillard said in a statement.
Ms Gillard said the Federal Government’s chief priority is to resolve issues around identifying ways in which future road developments can take people to the city and freight to Port Botany.
In the statement, Ms Gillard also said that the Federal Government believes that new tolls should not be imposed on existing un-tolled roads.
The Queensland Government has expressed its disappointment with the announcement, saying that funding is urgently needed to make repairs to the Bruce Highway.
State Transport Minister, Scott Emerson, said that the Federal Government had ‘turned its back’ on Queenslanders by failing to make a similar commitment to Queensland.
“We presented our Bruce Highway Action Plan to the federal government in October but have yet to hear of any funding commitment from the Commonwealth,” Mr Emerson said.