Why the Government should stop building a bridge on a section of the Hume-Moylan border
Construction of the section of Hume-Manning Highway that links the two major cities of Newcastle and Darwin will be delayed indefinitely after a major bridge collapse.
Key points:The section of road is due to be completed in 2020The Minister for Infrastructure, Tourism and Regional Development, Chris Pyne, has told the ABC it would be a “disastrous situation” for the communityIf the section was to be built in 2020, the entire town would be “in an absolute disaster”A section of highway linking the two cities of Melbourne and Darwin was expected to be finished by the end of the year, but the Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Infrastructure (DTRI) has told a federal parliamentary inquiry it would “have a disastrous situation for the town”.
“The Minister has told me it will be a catastrophic situation for this area,” Mr Pyne told the hearing.
The road is a section between Hume and Mansfield in the state’s north-east. “
This will be catastrophic for our community.”
The road is a section between Hume and Mansfield in the state’s north-east.
It will be one of three roads in the ACT that will be extended from the existing Hume-Petersons Highway to join the new bridge.
The Minister said it was a “challenge to the Government” to build a section that would be the size of a football pitch, and that the road would cost $2 billion to build.
“We’re not going to build this road on the Hume or Mansfield side of the border, we’re not even going to go up to that,” he said.
“There is a cost involved.
It is a tremendous cost.”
Mr Pyne said the project had been postponed because the Government had to do a detailed assessment of the risks involved and how long it would take to complete it.
The highway would be built by the ACT Government and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
Mr PyNE said the construction would be delayed until 2021, but he would not say when the section would be completed.
The NT Government had also announced plans to build the new section of Highway A, which runs along the northern tip of the Murray-Darling Basin.
It would extend the highway to the east of Darwin from its current position, and run from the city of Winton up to the port of Alice Springs.
However, it is expected that construction of the highway, which will be the biggest single project undertaken in the NT’s history, would not begin until 2021 at the earliest.
The NSW Government said it planned to begin construction of a section on the existing Highway C, which would run from Ipswich, the NT capital, to Darwin.
But it said it would not start work on the project until 2021.
“Our commitment is to complete the project by the second quarter of 2020, and we’re currently working with the NT Government to secure a date for completion,” NT Transport Minister Rob Oakeshott said.
He said the road, which is being funded by the NT Transport Fund, would be paid for by NT taxpayers.
“As the NT has a significant population and economic base in the Murray Valley, we want to do everything we can to get the project completed as quickly as possible,” Mr Oakeshaw said.
The Government said the proposed section would run along the Hume and Manning borders and cost $3 billion to construct.
“It will be funded by NT government funding,” Mr Dyne said.
He said it had been approved by the Northern Territory Government and would be in line with the Government-approved funding for the project.
NT’s minister for regional transport, John Bailes, said the NT would also be responsible for the construction of an interchange and highway extension on the Highway B, which connects the city’s south-west with the north-west.”NT is going to be responsible to the NT government for the reconstruction of the road from the Hume side of this highway to be in good operational condition and for the repair of the interchange,” Mr Bailess said.
Mr Bailces said the highway would connect the NT and WA and would have the capacity to accommodate more than 100,000 vehicles.
He also said the toll road, that connects the NT to the WA, would still have a capacity of 10,000 drivers per day.
The WA Government announced on Thursday that it would provide $10 million to help the NT fund the project, as part of a $15 million commitment announced last week.
Mr Pynder said the Government was committed to “building the bridge that connects us to the world and to the future”.
“We’ve said that we’ll do it,” he told the inquiry.
“I want to emphasise, we are going to do it and we are determined to do this.”