POLICY: More action needed to protect vital infrastructure corridors
July 21, 2017
Infrastructure Australia, the nation’s independent infrastructure advisor, has launched a new policy paper compelling Australian governments to act to protect vital infrastructure corridors and avoid cost overruns, delays and community disruption when delivering new infrastructure.
The third paper released as part of Infrastructure Australia’s Reform Series, Corridor Protection: Planning and investing for the long term shows that protection and early acquisition of just seven corridors identified as national priorities on the Infrastructure Priority List could save Australian taxpayers close to $11 billion in land purchase and construction costs.
These strategic corridors are: East Coast High Speed Rail, Outer Sydney Orbital, Outer Melbourne Ring, Western Sydney Airport Rail Line, Western Sydney Freight Line, Hunter Valley Freight Line, and Port of Brisbane Freight Line.
- Corridor protection is essential to safeguard governments—and taxpayers—from future growth in land prices and their impact on infrastructure costs.
- Placing a project in a tunnel can multiply its cost per kilometre by 5-10 times, as well as adding to the project’s ongoing operational and maintenance costs.
- Recent tunnelled motorway proposals are expected to cost in the order of $100 million per lane kilometre to build.
- Governments can save taxpayers large sums of money through corridor protection. Protecting just seven corridors included on the Infrastructure Priority List could save $10.8 billion.
- Costs associated with early acquisition of land can be partially offset by property revenues during the period prior to construction.
- Infrastructure Australia is calling for a national framework for corridor protection to guide coordinated and meaningful action by all levels of government.
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