Future is 'Rosi' for Australia's Key Road Corridors

The Liberal and Nationals' Government's 10-year, $3.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative is set to deliver game-changing works to drive productivity and efficiency gains across Australia's key freight routes.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack moved the Australian Government's initiative forward, when he publicly released the principles which will be used to guide the identification of priority road corridors.

Mr McCormack announced the ROSI program's objectives during his address to the WA Nationals State conference at Manjimup in Western Australia, highlighting intended benefits such as support for economic growth and improved connectivity, in key regional ndustries.

“The Roads of Strategic Importance initiative will deliver rolling packages of upgrades, which will improve the standard of priority corridors over a 10-year period,” Mr McCormack said.

“By targeting our investment on priority road corridors used by agricultural, mining and other industries, we will ensure upgrades delivered through the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative will provide more reliable infrastructure to improve connections across the supply chain and access to ports, airports and transport hubs.

“We have already allocated $400 million for the Bass Highway and other priorities in Tasmania, $100 million to improve access from regional New South Wales to the Australian Capital Territory via the Barton Highway and $220 million for the Bindoon Bypass in Western Australia.

“The Government will be looking for other strategic corridors so our investments can support regional economic growth, support the expansion of local industries including the visitor economy, while also improving safety on these key roads.” The $3.5 billion ROSI initiative is an important component of the Liberal and Nationals' Government's $75 billion infrastructure investment pipeline, announced in this year's Federal Budget, resulting from sound economic management.

Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport Scott Buchholz said as part of the Australian Government's commitment to developing northern Australia, $1.5 billion has been earmarked for projects in the north.

“This investment of $1.5 billion for projects in the north acknowledges the importance of this region to Australia's economy and building on the benefits already being delivered through the Australian Government's Northern Australia Roads Program and Northern Australia Beef Roads Program,” Mr Buchholz said.

“I look forward to meeting with local organisations across the north in coming weeks as part of a wide consultation process.”

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Broad said the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative is about delivering products more efficiently from paddock to plate throughout Australia.

“We are ensuring the products we produce can make it to the port and the market in the most efficient and effective means possible,” Mr Broad said.

“It's important that the allocation of funding is informed by an evidence-based approach which identifies corridors of greatest need in terms of existing deficiencies and freight demand patterns.

“At the same time were making sure that all Australians are safe on our major freight routes and that they are getting home at the end of each day.”

Funding under the package will be available over 10 years from 2018−19. Once the Government has worked through the analysis and consultation processes, key corridors will be identified and packages of works along those corridors will then be determined in consultation with State, Territory and Local Governments and other stakeholders.

More information is available at: http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/key_projects/initiatives/roads_strategic_importance.aspx