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Old March 5th, 2014, 05:53 PM   #941
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From memory they do have signs before and after petrol stations and roadhouses in remote areas.
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Old March 5th, 2014, 07:16 PM   #942
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This is the type of sign that they place on the approach of a petrol station. At least, this type of sign was used throughout the NT when I was there in 2004. So there was an advance warning, but without any distance to the petrol station after the one that you are approaching.



I agree with Chris that any experienced Outback driver will be aware of his fuel situation and where he will need to fill up. And most tourists driving there will be so nervous about the lack of fuel stations that they will do the right thing as well. Maybe that is why you only get to see a small reassurance type of sign, and no advance warning. Nonetheless, adding the same information to the advance warning sign that is out there anyway never hurts and reiterates the message to those motorists that need it, without substantial additional costs. In any event, red signs are only used in rather exceptional situations and rightfully so. The normal reassurance type of signs are blue.

To respond to Chris' query about roadhouses, I saw a couple in 2004, so no idea about wifi (there was no mobile coverage either). They are places that double as restaurant, hotel, pub, fuel stop, post office and convenience store. Surely you can get a shower there, but don't expect anything that looks like a service station along European motorways where one just walks into a common area, pays a few bucks and takes the shower. In all likelihood, most will have some staff that can help you with simple car repairs, but don't expect a dedicated team.
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Old March 5th, 2014, 07:37 PM   #943
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Some roadhouses have motel accommodation aswell and also internet access (payed). I was in NT last November but dont recall wifi (in anycase not free).
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Old March 6th, 2014, 01:34 PM   #944
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Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
Heading West, I guess ...
Whoops, you're right!

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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I think these signs are just a reminder. You don't just drive into the outback without some decent preparations of where the gas stations are and what the distances are. In Europe you can easily drive until your tank is 7/8th empty, but this doesn't work in Australia or Canada where services are few and far apart.
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Old March 6th, 2014, 01:49 PM   #945
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Hunter Expressway

Hunter Expressway will open to traffic in two weeks

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss and NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay today announced the Hunter region’s largest road infrastructure project will open to traffic on Saturday 22 March 2014.

Mr Truss confirmed he will visit the Hunter region for an official dedication on Friday 21 March ahead of the road formally opening to traffic the next day.

“The new corridor will relieve congestion between Newcastle and the towns of Thornton, Maitland and Rutherford with forecast reduced traffic of 15,000 to 30,000 vehicles per day by 2031.
Full press release: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/news/minis...way_event.html
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Old March 13th, 2014, 06:38 PM   #946
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M80 Metropolitan Ring Road, Melbourne

Congestion Eases for Greensborough bound Drivers on M80

Drivers on the M80 Ring Road will experience a smoother ride from today, with an additional lane open between Edgars Road and Plenty Road.

The changed traffic conditions remove this bottleneck, and by next week will allow drivers to travel at 100 kilometres per hour all the way on the Ring Road from the West Gate Freeway interchange at Laverton to Plenty Road.

Victorian Minister for Roads Terry Mulder said an additional Altona-bound lane from Edgars Road to Plenty Road is due to open later this month along with a speed limit increase in that direction.
Full press release: http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/...iversonM80.htm

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Old March 14th, 2014, 10:42 PM   #947
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$ 35.5 billion infrastructure package

Government Acts to Deliver Australia's Biggest Infrastructure Agenda

The Government's $35.5 billion commitment to delivering the infrastructure that Australia needs to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century took another step forward in Federal Parliament yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss introduced the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill, which maps out the Government's infrastructure priorities, while repealing and amending Labor's legacy of failed policies.

“The Bill replaces Labor's disjointed and shambolic Nation Building Program with the National Land Transport Act 2014 to get on with the job of delivering the biggest infrastructure agenda in Australia's history,” Mr Truss said.

“We are moving to deliver the infrastructure Australia critically needs through our $35.5 billion Infrastructure Investment Programme, which, over six years, will build the vital road and rail projects to improve efficiency, boost productivity and drive Australia's economy forward.”

Major projects under the Infrastructure Investment Programme include:

$6.7 billion to upgrade the Bruce Highway;
$5.6 billion to finish the duplication of the Pacific Highway;
$1.5 billion to the WestConnex project in Sydney;
$1.5 billion for the East-West Link in Melbourne;
$1 billion to continue the Gateway Motorway North upgrade in Brisbane;
$700 million for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing;
$686 million to finish the Gateway WA Project in Perth;
$615 million to build the Swan Valley Bypass on the Perth to Darwin Highway;
$500 million for the upgrade of South Road in Adelaide;
$405 million for the F3 to M2 Link project in Sydney; and
$400 million to continue the Midland Highway upgrade in Tasmania.
Full press release: http://www.minister.infrastructure.g...t023_2014.aspx
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Old March 17th, 2014, 07:28 PM   #948
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NorthConnex, Sydney

Building for the future: Go ahead for NorthConnex Motorway

The NSW Government has reached an agreement with Transurban and the Westlink M7 shareholders to deliver the NorthConnex motorway – twin nine kilometre tunnels to link the M1 and M2 under busy Pennant Hills Road.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Roads Minister Duncan Gay said subject to planning approval, NorthConnex would be a major freight route for eastern Australia and allow trucks to effectively bypass Sydney.

NorthConnex will significantly ease traffic congestion in Sydney by taking up to 5,000 trucks a day off Pennant Hills Road, while vehicles using the tunnel will bypass 21 sets of traffic lights.

The $3 billion project, consisting of a construction budget of $2.65 billion in addition to land and project delivery costs, will be funded through toll charges with a contribution from the NSW and Australian Governments of up to $405 million each. Car and truck tolls for NorthConnex will be aligned with the M2, which currently are $6.11 for cars and $18.32 for trucks.

Under the preferred design released today, the twin tunnels will link the southern end of the M1 Motorway at Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway at its Pennant Hills Road interchange.

“Built with a three lane capacity but initially line-marked for two lanes each way, the tunnels are expected to deliver improved travel times of up to 15 minutes.

“The tunnel height has been increased to 5.3 metres, significantly higher than the 4.6 metres of most other tunnels in Sydney which reduces the possibility of overheight trucks playing Russian roulette with our road network,” Mr Gay said.
Full press release: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/news/minis...rthconnex.html
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Old March 21st, 2014, 10:36 PM   #949
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South Road Superway, Adelaide

South Australia’s first elevated roadway - the South Road Superway - is now substantially complete with the opening of the Northbound lanes tonight at midnight.

The $842 million South Road Superway project is the biggest single investment in a South Australian road project, and the state's most complex engineering road construction project to date. Traffic will be allowed onto the Northbound lanes of the structure that is signed as the North-South Motorway M2 from midnight tonight. The Southbound carriageway was opened to traffic in January this year and some works at-grade including landscaping will continue over the next few months.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) Chief Executive Rod Hook said that the 2.8km elevated roadway will cut travel times by up to seven minutes for up to 45,000 vehicles that use this section of the road every day, a significant benefit for South Australian motorists.
Full press release: http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/...idor/?a=125302

This was on March 13, 2014.
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Old March 31st, 2014, 08:45 PM   #950
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The Herald's April Fool's joke, a plan to turn the Hunter Expressway into a toll road by the end of the month.

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/21...ressway/?cs=12
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Old April 18th, 2014, 04:39 AM   #951
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Badgerys Creek Airport & associated roadworks

This week Prime Minister made an announcement and gave the green light to Badgery Creeks Airport in Sydney's west. Construction of the airport would start in 2016 and first flights by middle of the next decade. The airport announcement was followed up the next day with an associated roadworks package that will support the airport and the local area. Too bad a bottle of wine got in the way of a good day.

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WESTERN SYDNEY INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN: MORE JOBS, BETTER ROADS

The Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments are delivering on our shared plan to build a stronger and more prosperous Western Sydney by investing more than $1 billion over the forward estimates and $3.5 billion over 10 years in major infrastructure upgrades that will transform the region’s economy.

The new plan involves transport links to capitalise on the economic gains from developing an airport at Badgerys Creek. This will boost the local economy of Western Sydney, making it an even better place to live and do business.

The Australian and NSW Governments will jointly fund the road infrastructure plan through an 80/20 funding split.

The people of Western Sydney have been neglected by Labor for far too long and this investment will relieve pressure on existing infrastructure and unlock the economic capacity of the region by easing congestion, slashing travel times and creating thousands of local jobs.

This investment in roads will create 4,000 jobs in addition to the tens of thousands of jobs that will be created by the new airport.

Western Sydney is already Australia’s third largest economy and in its own right would be our fourth largest city. Over the next 20 years, the region is expected to grow from two million to three million, which is why both governments are fast-tracking development of new and existing infrastructure.

The Australian and NSW Governments are committed to getting Western Sydney moving with modern infrastructure to boost productivity and make life easier for motorists so they spend less time stuck in traffic and more time being productive at work or at home with their families.

This plan will deliver significant upgrades to major and local roads including:

Bringelly Road – upgrade to four lanes from Camden Valley Way to the Northern Road
The Northern Road – upgrade to a minimum of four lanes from Narellan to M4 Motorway
Elizabeth Drive Corridor – construction of a new four lane motorway from the M7 Motorway to the Northern Road
Improve interchanges connecting Northern Road and Elizabeth Drive with arterial roads
Local Roads – $200 million for local road upgrades
The strong cooperation between both governments means the first contracts for Bringelly Road are expected to be put to tender in July with planning on The Northern Road also substantially progressed.

These upgrades will increase the capacity of the region to handle future traffic growth; improve accessibility to the M7 and M4 motorways; significantly reduce travel times and improve the safety performance of Western Sydney’s road network.

The Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development the Hon Jamie Briggs and NSW Minister for Roads and Ports, the Hon Duncan Gay, will have responsibility to drive the infrastructure plan, to plan and prioritise funding of existing projects and consider future projects to be funded at later stages of the programme including:

A link from the M4 to the Airport
Prospect Highway
Moorebank Precinct
Werrington Arterial
Work will also begin immediately to reserve a corridor for a future extension of the South West Rail Link to the Airport and to the South West Growth Centre. Enabling work, including a station box for a future rail link, will be completed during construction of the airport.

This package builds on significant commitments already made by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments that foster positive growth in Western Sydney including building WestConnex, developing the Moorebank intermodal terminal and constructing the North West and South West Rail Links.

The Australian and NSW Governments understand Western Sydney is one of Australia’s most significant economic growth corridors and together with our commitment to build the Western Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek, this programme will deliver the jobs and infrastructure of the 21st century that Western Sydney needs.

16 April 2014
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Old April 18th, 2014, 05:03 AM   #952
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Collapse of Australian Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Industry

The below is a good article from Brisbane's Courier Mail regarding how quickly the Australian motor vehicle industry, on its knees for a long time, flopped like a pack of cards. How a combination of factors conspire to make Australia not a very good place to make cars.

Australians have heard a lot about this, but I have posted this for overseas forumers who may not be aware.



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Why Australia’s car manufacturers — Toyota, Holden and Ford — all conked out

JOSHUA DOWLING NATIONAL MOTORING EDITOR NEWS LIMITED NETWORK FEBRUARY 14, 2014

WHY did Australia’s three car-makers — Toyota, Holden and Ford — announce shutdowns within nine months of each other?

Despite the blame games of the past week there is no conspiracy theory. Nor is there one reason. If only it were that simple the industry might have been saved.

The Australian car manufacturing sector had become so small that each company began to rely on the other for survival.

In the automotive eco system most parts suppliers have contracts with all three brands to remain viable.

Factories need economies of scale at the best of times, let alone in the worst of times when they must compete with cheap imported parts — and cars.

The local content of Australian-made cars was already in decline. Just 30 per cent of the parts to make a Holden Cruze were sourced locally, and the Commodore was only 50 per cent Australian in the end, according to figures supplied by the car maker.

Toyota had a Japanese image but the Camry had up to 70 per cent Australian-made parts, the same as the Ford Falcon.

But if the car makers were to survive beyond the current models, they were going to be forced rely on more foreign parts to keep costs down.

It meant that saving the car-makers would not have saved the rest of the parts supply industry, contrary to the ‘if save us, you save them’ message that Holden often used in its argument for continued government support.

Ford, Holden and Toyota were always in the headlines but the hundreds of smaller manufacturers who supply parts for the big brands were feeling as much if not more pain.

Which is why as soon as the first domino fell in May last year — Ford — the collapse of the remaining two manufacturers, Holden and Toyota, and the rest of the industry was inevitable.

Best-practice car factories produce a minimum of 250,000 vehicles per year. In the end, Australia’s three car brands combined could barely reach that.

When Mitsubishi shut shop in 2008 the Australian car industry became a wobbly three-legged chair. Once Ford was lost, the tipping point was imminent for Holden and Toyota, despite their public posturing.

The timing of the shutdowns — 2016 for Ford and 2017 for Holden and Toyota — is a genuine but convenient coincidence.

That’s when the Ford Falcon, Toyota Camry and Holden Commodore are due to reach the end of their model cycles before being replaced by all-new cars. (It’s not uncommon for car makers to ‘shadow’ each other’s launches so they can stay competitive with fresh metal).

However, Australia’s three car factories and the hundreds of parts suppliers will likely struggle to go the full distance of their proposed shutdown dates as sales of locally-made vehicles start to tank.

Even though the cars made between now and the end will still be fully backed by warranties for three years and parts and service for up to 10 years, customers mistakenly believe they may be left in the lurch.

That’s why most informed commentary says the industry with be gone “by the end of” 2017. The shutdowns could happen earlier, although all three brands say they are committed to staying their full terms.

The grim reality is that the sooner all three factories shut down, the sooner Toyota, Holden and Ford end their massive financial losses and start making a decent profit.

Combined, all three brands have lost more than $1.5 billion on their local manufacturing operations over the past decade, despite receiving more than twice that in taxpayer funding over the same period.

So, who’s to blame for this predicament?

Federal Governments who created low import tariffs and signed Free Trade Agreements that gave cheap foreign cars the upper hand?

The unions that demanded better wages and conditions for their workers?

Or the bosses at the international headquarters of the car companies who treated Australian governments like a cash machine?

The truth is all of these factors share at least some responsibility for the industry’s demise, along, sadly, with the buying public and fleet operators who swapped patriotism for a broader choice of more affordable, more desirable, and more suitable imported cars.

Successive governments from both sides of politics created the economic environment that Australia now finds itself in: a nation with high wages, low import tariffs and a strong currency.

These three factors make it impossible to profitably export cars, especially when you’re surrounded by Asia-Pacific countries that don’t need Australian-made vehicles because they’re making their own — for one-quarter of the labour cost.

If Australia could sell cars into the massive markets in Europe or North America we might have a chance — ignoring for a moment the hurdle of unfavourable exchange rates — except they already have massive overcapacity with too many car factories and not enough customers.

In the end, the Australian car industry was backed into a corner.

The Coalition Government won’t be popular for presiding over the shutdown announcements of two of Australia’s three car-makers (Ford’s announcement came under the former Labor Government’s watch). But someone had to take the tough stance.

If the Coalition had agreed to an increase in funding to the car industry, it would merely have delayed the shutdown announcements, rather than come to their rescue.

Factory worker wages are not suddenly going to get lower, Australia’s import tariffs aren’t about to be increased, and Free Trade Agreements aren’t about to be ripped up.

Such changes are about as likely as Australia being towed closer to Europe.

Propping up the car industry would have cost taxpayers at least another $1 billion in handouts — not including the hidden costs of forcing government departments to buy Australian cars — and we would still have ended up with the same result, just a few years later.

It’s truly sad to see the end of the car manufacturing industry and the jobs of tens of thousands of workers.

But it is better to rip the band-aid off now and start repairing the damage, retraining workers, and find out what it is that Australia does well — apart from just being “a farm, a hotel and a quarry”, as former Holden boss, Mike Devereux, put it.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 06:13 AM   #953
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it's really sad and unfortunate for the industry but at least they aren't trying to subsidize the damn thing.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 07:57 AM   #954
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Gateway WA project, Perth Airport

A large highway infrastructure project is underway to the south of Perth Airport. It is being built to help serve the passenger and freight access needs around Perth Airport and to better funnel the traffic of major metropolitan arterial roads that converge around the airport. More than this, it will be an iconic gateway to Perth and the western part of Australia; better integrate air, road and rail as interchange modes in the area; better serve the airport when the international and domestic terminals are consolidated in the future. The project also aims to set a standard in urban design, quality, landscaping and integration with the local community.





Project Overview:

The Gateway WA project incorporates road and bridge improvements, local road modifications, facilities and connections for pedestrians and cyclists, noise walls, landscaping, innovative urban design and the use of Intelligent Transport System technology.

As part of the Gateway WA project:

An on-ramp will be constructed at Abernethy Road to Tonkin Highway (southbound)
Tonkin Highway (between Great Eastern Highway and Roe Highway) will be widened to six lanes
Leach Highway (between Orrong Road and the Perth Airport) will be upgraded to an expressway standard
New grade separated* interchanges will be constructed at:
Tonkin Highway / Leach Highway
Tonkin Highway / Horrie Miller Drive / Kewdale Road
Leach Highway / Abernethy Road
Tonkin Highway / Roe Highway
Tonkin Highway / Boud Avenue.

website: www.gatewaywa.com.au/
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Old April 18th, 2014, 08:05 AM   #955
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Highway Project updates

Just have updates on some smaller scale highway projects around Australia.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pacific Highway, NSW: following the completion of highway construction north of Coffs Harbour (Sapphire-Woolgoolga), focus will shift south to the section between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.
The $965 Oxley Hwy-Kundabung project involves the upgrade of 23km of highway to dual carriageway, and could start construction by the end of the year.
The next section, 14km between Kundabung and Kempsey, a separate contract will be awarded soon.
A little further north, a $475m project will be underway soon; to upgrade the Pacific Hwy to dual carriageway between Warrell Creek and Nambucca Heads. This section is about 20km and has daily traffic count of 15,000 vehicles.
In this part of the highway, between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour, two more similarly sized projects have commenced construction: Frederickton-Eungai, and Urunga-Nambucca Heads. Once all these projects are complete, nearly all of the road between these two coastal towns, about 160km apart, will be divided highway.


Outback roads: the Feds are splurging $24.5m to upgrade outback roads. $11m is going to the Queensland section of Outback Way. Outback Way runs from Laverton in WA to Winton in Queensland; the upgrade will assist the beef industry, outback tourism and help to open up indigenous communities to the rest of the country.
In the Northern Territory, there is a $106m package that targets 6 outback roads for improvements:
• Roper Hwy: 2 new bridges
• Port Keats Road: flood immunity
• Arnhem Link Road: upgrade some parts from track to gravel; flood immunity
• Buntine Hwy: sealing, widening and strengthening existing paved sections
• Central Arnhem Road: 1 new bridge
• Santa Teresa Road (outside Alice Springs): sealing parts of the road to Santa Teresa town.


Western Highway, Victoria: the duplication of the highway west of Ballarat is slowly gathering pace with announcements of a 15km, $95m section between Beaufort and Buangor, and the Buangor Bypass. The traffic count in this section is 5,500 vehicles / day and the project is expected to be completed by the end of next year. These smaller projects form part of a broader medium term plan to duplicate the highway between Ballarat and Stawell. The Western Hwy is the most direct route between Melbourne and Adelaide.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 01:30 PM   #956
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Posted by Crawf in ozscrapers
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North-South Motorway, Adelaide (formally South Road Superway).

Speed limit has recently been lifted to 90kph















All taken by
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanthescooterguy

Bring on the Torrens to Torren project!
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Old April 19th, 2014, 02:36 AM   #957
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Judging from the pics, 60 km/h seems to slow for that type of road.

I'm glad they raised it to a higher level (90 km/h in this case)
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Old April 28th, 2014, 09:11 PM   #958
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CityLink, Melbourne

CityLink-Tulla widening paves way to ease congestion

An approximate $850 million upgrade and widening of both CityLink and a section of the Tullamarine Freeway will bolster their capacity by 30 per cent, Premier Denis Napthine announced today.

Joined by Treasurer Michael O’Brien and Minister for Roads Terry Mulder, Dr Napthine said the joint Government and Transurban project will create 700 jobs, significantly reduce congestion and improve travel times and safety along one of Melbourne’s biggest traffic hot spots.

Financed by Transurban and commencing in 2015, the project will add extra lanes in each direction between the Bolte Bridge and the Tullamarine Freeway just north of English Street, Essendon Fields as well as extra lanes on the Bolte Bridge and a section of the West Gate Freeway (eastbound) between the Bolte Bridge and Power Street.

Construction of the additional lanes is due to commence in the first half of 2015 and take approximately two years to complete.

To fund the project, the CityLink Concession will be extended by one year, toll price increases will remain at a minimum of 4.5% (annually) for an additional year and truck tolls will increase to become consistent with national pricing for trucks on other motorway networks. Post construction, tolls will be adjusted to their normal levels over a two year period.
Full press release: http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-...ongestion.html
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Old April 30th, 2014, 02:31 PM   #959
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Victoria – Unsolicited Proposals



In February, the Victorian Treasury released new guidelines regarding unsolicited proposals from the private sector to work in partnership with the State Government to deliver new and better infrastructure.

Basically, a private company / consortium may approach the government with a proposal that allows infrastructure to be built now and payment later. If both the government and private bidder agree with the terms of the proposal than the contract can be signed on an exclusive basis and the project need not go to a public bid. The East West Link is not an unsolicited proposal.

What the government looks for is a project that adds value to the state; reduces current and future congestion; improves productivity; fits within the state’s strategic direction; creates jobs, the state need not pay a large amount for it upfront; is a winner with the public. What the private bidder looks for is usually its self interest eg. Increase its future ability to generate revenue that pays for its large short term cost and can return a profit in the longer term.

Put simply, the steps are:
• Private bidder approaches government with proposal with full information requirements
• The government conducts preliminary assessment of the proposal and decides whether to enter into exclusive negotiation
• Government and bidder enter into exclusive negotiation to develop a full proposal for government’s consideration
• The government enters into final negotiations to finalise outstanding issues with an intent to enter into final and binding offer
• The government awards the contract


The first unsolicited proposal, announced in March, allows Metro trains (the operator of Melbourne train network) to upgrade the Dandenong rail corridor, worth about $2.5 billion. The project includes level crossing removals, station upgrades, new high capacity trains and new high capacity signalling.

The first road based unsolicited proposal, announced on Monday, comes from Transurban, the builder and operator of Citylink. It plans a $850 million upgrade of its own tollway, with additional lanes. The plan fits around and compliments the government’s East West link plan as the two roads would intersect around Flemington. The Citylink contract is extended for one year and toll rises on that section undergoing the upgrade are limited for the duration of the works, so as not to annoy an inconvenienced motorist. The works are expected to commence in 2015 and complete in 2017.
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Old April 30th, 2014, 02:38 PM   #960
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East West Link, Stage Two

On Tuesday, the Prime Minster announced $1.5bn commitment from the Federal Government towards Stage 2 of the East West link (also called the western section). The price tag of this section is expected to be between $8-10bn so still a lot of money to raise to build it. Stage 2 starts at Citylink near the Dynon Road exit (where Stage 1 finishes) and treks west under Footscray, through Tottenham to the ring road at Laverton. From this point there is a straight forward connection to the start of the Deer Park Bypass.

Although the details of this project, such as the design and the number of compulsory property acquisitions, are still to be considered, the project is expected to be completed around 2023, four years after the completion of Stage 1. Stage two will be built mainly in port use and industrial zoned land, but through Footscray will be through or rather under residential.



My map is only a rough guide as to the route: the red line being stage one and the blue line being stage two.

By combing stages one and two, the east west link will be 18km long, create up to 6,200 construction jobs, up to 20 minutes cut from the Melbourne to Geelong drive; cost up to between $14-18bn of which $3bn contribution from the Feds.
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