The relocation of the University of Tasmania’s Stem Sell Facilities to the CBD, the Northern Road Upgrade in the Western Sydney Corridor and upgrades to several stretches of the Bruce Highway are among new entrants to Australia’s list of infrastructure priorities.
In its latest announcement, Infrastructure Australia said it has identified 100 projects and initiatives which it has identified as being high priority or priority on a national scale.
Notable on the list as a new inclusion was the relocation of the University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology from its existing campus at Sandy Bay to a purpose-built 45,050 square meter facility for education, research and training in the Hobart CBD which would initially accommodate up to 3,000 students and 700 staff.
The first education-related project to make it onto the list, the project is seen as critical in terms of efforts on the part of city the state to attract new and innovative enterprise within the Hobart CBD – an area which has typically lacked the scale and diversity necessary to support strong population and economic development in high value industries.
Another new entrant involves the upgrade of 35 kilometres of road on the The Northern Road, including new lanes, intersection improvements and dedicated north-south bus lanes.
Part of the broader Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, this is expected to facilitate greater traffic levels and employment growth associated with the Western Sydney growth corridor and the new airport at Badgerys Creek.
In Queensland, meanwhile the 2017 list includes upgrades to two new sections of the Bruce Highway.
One, the Corry to Curra section involves an upgrade and realignment of 61 kilometres of the Cooroy to Curra section of the Bruce Highway including an 8.8 kilometre four-lane duel carriageway and a 1.8 kilometre single carriage highway along a new alignment.
The other stretch will involve Stage 1 of the Mackay Ring Road - a new two-lane eleven-kilometre highway bypass of Mackay.
New High Priority Initiatives, meanwhile, include mass transit options for Parramatta to Sydney CBD (NSW) and the remaining sections of Ipswich Motorway Rocklea-Darra (QLD).
Infrastructure Australia Chairman Mark Birrell says the list incorporates data from the Australian Infrastructure Audit along with extensive consultation with state and territory governments.
Birrell said all projects and initiatives listed had been assessed to have strategic merit and national importance.
“This is the infrastructure that Australia needs—to boost our quality of life and our economy,” he said.
All up, the list includes 18 projects and a further 75 initiatives.
The 18 projects include seven High Priority Projects and eleven Priority Projects whilst the 82 initiatives include 25 High Priority Initiatives and 57 Priority Initiatives.