Principles released for Federal Government’s Roads of Strategic Importance initiative

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack has moved the Australian Government’s Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative forward and publicly released the principles which will be used to guide the identification of priority road corridors.

The Australian Government is set to invest $3.5 billion through the (ROSI) initiative to deliver works such as road sealing, flood immunity, strengthening and widening, pavement rehabilitation, bridge and culvert upgrades and road realignments.

The ROSI will be delivered against the following objectives:

• Delivering via a corridor approach to support network improvements, as opposed to upgrades to individual elements that do not address capacity issues along the selected route. That is, works would involve rolling packages of upgrades to raise the standard of the full corridor, as opposed to just upgrading a single bridge or other bottleneck.

• Funding for corridors should primarily deliver improvements to freight movements, based on a solid evidence base. Funding for projects on the corridor should be identified through analysis of data such as the CSIRO’s Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool’ (TraNSIT) model, the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics modelling, and strategic network assessments by states.

• The corridors should also support regional economic growth by helping support the expansion of key local industries and improve connectivity and access, including better access to support tourism growth.

• The upgraded corridors will also improve safety for all users through improved road conditions.

• The initiative should support partnerships between Commonwealth and state governments with local government and industry, including shared funding responsibilities, appropriate recognition and improve data sharing.

• Where appropriate, projects should support targeted freight road reforms. This could involve trials of incremental heavy vehicle user charging where industry have indicated a willingness to contribute an additional charge for a higher level of service (e.g. upgrades, improved access) on a corridor, route or network, including on upgraded local government roads or greater access to the corridor. It should also involve greater consultation with industry on project identification, selection and prioritisation.

• Projects should support wider national reforms, such as Indigenous employment and supplier-use participation.

“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,” Mr McCormack said.

“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.”

More information is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities website.