We have a Plan for Real Action - 2013 Election

7. Build more modern infrastructure

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We will build more modern roads and infrastructure to boost productivity and to get Australia moving, with a special emphasis on reducing the bottlenecks on our major grid locked roads and highways.

Fighting for less talk more action

The Liberals believe infrastructure is about getting things done, not just talking about it. While Labor fails to meet its promises on transport, broadband and other key investments in the future, we will continue to fight for less talk and more action.

Building the modern infrastructure Australia needs

We have an economic plan for Australia – a plan to build more modern infrastructure to boost productivity.

We will deliver the modern infrastructure that a first world 21st Century country deserves. You will see cranes over our cities as we get on with the job of building more modern infrastructure, with a special emphasis on reducing the bottlenecks on our gridlocked roads and highways. Big new projects will be underway within 12 months of a change of government. Our big cities are as vital to our economy as our vast resource developments and can be properly considered a critical part of our national economic infrastructure. They are key to the development of a more productive and prosperous Australia.

Delivering a 15-year rolling plan for national infrastructure projects

We will develop a rolling 15-year infrastructure plan of national projects and work closely with Infrastructure Australia in establishing project priorities and delivery timetables. This will be a Commonwealth and State government plan and will be revised every five years.

Empowering Infrastructure Australia to deliver better value from infrastructure spending

We will deliver better value from infrastructure spending by working in close collaboration with Infrastructure Australia. Infrastructure projects are very expensive and taxpayers must be guaranteed that their money is spent in the most cost effective manner possible so that we end up with more productive infrastructure, rather than just wasted money.

  • We will strengthen the role of Infrastructure Australia, improve its governance and make it more transparent and accountable, as well as a more effective adviser.
  • We will require all Commonwealth-funded projects worth more than $100 million to undergo a cost-benefit analysis by Infrastructure Australia to ensure the best use of available taxpayer monies.
  • We will require Infrastructure Australia to publish justifications for all its project recommendations.
  • We will prioritise projects based on a proper cost-benefit analysis.
  • Within 12 months of election we will announce infrastructure priorities and construction timetables in consultation with the States.

Encouraging more private investment in infrastructure projects

We will investigate ways to get more private funding into high priority infrastructure projects to enable us to do more to modernise Australia. We will ask the Office of Financial Management to examine an Infrastructure Partnership Bonds Scheme to encourage billions of dollars of additional private investment in infrastructure projects, so that we can get more things done.

Delivering major roads and highways to get things moving

We will work with the States and the private sector to accelerate the delivery of a major roads and highways programme that reduces bottlenecks – to improve productivity and safety for all road users.

  • We will contribute $1.5 billion to get the M4 East (WestConnex Project) underway in Sydney to complete the east-west corridor.
  • We will contribute $1.5 billion to get the East- West Link road tunnel underway in Melbourne to link the Eastern Freeway and Western Ring Road and we will further improve the Geelong Princes Highway.
  • We will contribute $1 billion towards the upgrade of the Gateway Motorway in Brisbane and we will develop the Toowoomba Range crossing.
  • We will contribute $400 million and get the duplication of the Midland Highway between Hobart and Launceston done in Tasmania.
  • We will contribute $5.6 billion to complete the duplication of the Pacific Highway from Newcastle to the Queensland border.
  • We are committed to the Perth Gateway project and will make further road infrastructure commitments in South Australia before the next election.

Delivering more affordable broadband – rolling it out faster

The Coalition will deliver high speed broadband that is both affordable for families and businesses and cost effective for taxpayers.

  • We will for the first time do a fully transparent cost-benefit analysis of the National Broadband Network, to find out the quickest and most cost- efficient way to upgrade broadband to all areas where services are now unavailable or sub- standard. This is the cost-benefit analysis Labor didn’t do before committing to spend tens of billions of dollars on the NBN.
  • We will roll out super-fast broadband using whichever is the most effective and cost efficient technology and we will use existing infrastructure where we can.
  • We will roll it out faster to high priority areas.
  • We will end billions of dollars of wasteful spending on the NBN and deliver more of the modern infrastructure we urgently need while encouraging competition wherever possible to put downward pressure on prices.

Building more dams – providing water security

We will start the detailed planning necessary to build new dams – to secure the nation’s water supplies, deliver strong economic benefits for Australia, while also protecting our environment.

The Coalition’s Dams Taskforce is looking at potential investments in dam capacity across Australia.