Infrastructure activity gathers pace

With such a big continent to live in and explore, you could argue that it would be almost impossible to deliver the infrastructure balance we need in this country.

But seriously, up until the last few years it seemed like Federal, State and Local Government were doing everything in their power to make the place worse than put in the effort required to provide smart infrastructure solutions.

Personally, I have been dreaming of a fast train that could take me zooming from Brisbane to Melbourne for a spot of shopping, then from Melbourne to Perth to watch the magnificent sunsets from the Ocean Beach Hotel at Cottesloe.

Gathering pace

Thankfully, we are currently experiencing some great focus and activity by all levels of Government on the infrastructure front.  The changes will mean displacement for some, so we need to stay on our game to ensure everyone is treated fairly but the outcome should (hopefully) be an increase in liveability right across Australia.  Yes . .even in Tasmania . . .otherwise how would we continue to enjoy the Sydney to Hobart race every year : – )?

The implications will not be obvious or inevitable for property investors, but monitoring the infrastructure roll out will provide an extra overlay of detail when making our next purchases.  With this in mind, summarized below are the top eight infrastructure projects identified by Infrastructure Australia (in no particular order).

Sydney Metro City and Southwest, NSW

  • Purpose : Improve Sydney rail network capacity
  • Delivery timescale : Medium term

Sydney Metro City and Southwest is the second stage of the broader Sydney Metro project. It will deliver 30.5 kilometres of metro rail between Chatswood and Bankstown. The project has two components: a 17.1 kilometre section from Chatswood to Sydenham that is primarily tunnelled; and a 13.4 kilometre section from Sydenham to Bankstown, involving conversion of the existing Bankstown rail line to metro operations. The project includes new underground metro stations at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross, Barangaroo, Martin Place Pitt Street, Central and Waterloo. The project will increase rail capacity through the Sydney CBD, improve capacity and reliability on the rest of the rest of the rail network, and enhance resilience of the wider transport network by delivering a second harbour rail crossing.


M4 Motorway upgrade (Parramatta to Lapstone), NSW

  • Purpose : Connectivity in outer western Sydney
  • Delivery timescale : Near term

The population of the main catchment area for the M4 motorway is expected to grow by around 490,000 people (44.5%) between 2011 and 2031, and nearby developments such as the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, and the Western Sydney Employment Area, are also likely to add to demand on the corridor.

The proposed solution involves a range of measures aimed at making better use of existing infrastructure, and capacity augmentation, along a 35 km section of the M4 between Mays Hill (near Parramatta) and Lapstone at the base of the Blue Mountains. The better use components include:

  • The introduction of Intelligent Transport System (ITS) measures, including ramp signals, vehicle detection devices, and electronic signage
  • Upgrades to entry and exit ramps
  • New freight bypass lanes at three entry ramps, westbound at the M7 and the Prospect Highway, and eastbound at Roper Road, Colyton
  • A new communications and power ‘backbone’ along the motorway.

The project includes the construction of two additional lanes (one eastbound and one westbound) in the median along a 4.3 km section of the motorway between the Roper Road and Westlink M7 interchanges.


Westconnex, NSW

  • Purpose : Sydney inner west road congestion
  • Delivery timescale : Near term

WestConnex is a program of around 33 km of interconnected road projects that will extend the M4 motorway towards Sydney city, widen the M5 East motorway (including duplicating the existing tunnels) and then join the two motorways with a new tunnel running under the inner western suburbs of Sydney.


Melbourne Metro Rail, Victoria

  • Purpose : Melbourne rail network capacity
  • Delivery timescale : Medium term

The Melbourne Metro project will connect the Sunbury line with the Cranbourne/Pakenham line through twin 9km rail tunnels running from South Kensington to South Yarra under the CBD.

This will form a new line which would operate independent of the rest of the network, and release capacity for more services into the CBD on other lines through the city loop.

The project includes five new underground stations—Arden, Parkville, Domain, and two new stations in the CBD with interconnections to the broader rail network.


M80 Ring Road upgrade, Victoria

  • Purpose : Melbourne M80 western ring road congestion
  • Delivery timescale : Near term

The M80 Ring Road is Melbourne’s orbital freight route linking the West Gate Freeway and Princes Freeway with the Western Freeway, Calder Freeway, Tullamarine Freeway, Hume Freeway and Greensborough Highway.  The current work focusses on widening four sections of the M80 Ring Road to provide at least three lanes in each direction along these sections:

  • Princes Freeway to Western Highway (5.0 kilometres);
  • Sunshine Avenue to Calder Freeway (3.8 kilometres);
  • Sydney Road to Edgars Road (4.0 kilometres); and
  • Plenty Road to Greensborough Highway (2.6 kilometres).


Ipswich Motorway – Rocklea to Darra Stage 1c, Queensland

  • Purpose : Southern Brisbane-Ipswich road network capacity
  • Delivery timescale : Near term

Rocklea to Darra – Stage 1 covers a 3km section of the Ipswich Motorway from Granard Road, Rocklea to Oxley Road, Oxley. This is the next most critical section of the remaining 7kms of the Ipswich Motorway still to be upgraded.

Rocklea to Darra – Stage 1 includes:

  • upgrading the motorway from 4 to 6 lanes
  • higher bridges over Oxley Creek, including 7 new bridges
  • new southern service road connection from Rocklea industrial precinct to the Oxley commercial and retail areas
  • new northern service road connection over Oxley Creek floodplain
  • new traffic signals at the Suscatand Street intersection.



Western Sydney Airport

  • Purpose : Sydney aviation capacity
  • Delivery timescale :  Medium term

Sydney is Australia’s primary aviation gateway, accounting for around 40% of international services, 43% of domestic services, and 45% of international air freight. Demand is forecast to grow significantly, to the extent that capacity at Kingsford Smith Airport alone would not be able to service this growth.

In 2013, Kingsford Smith Airport served around 36 million passengers. A study conducted in 2012 forecast that annual unconstrained demand would more than double to around 76 million passengers per year by 2030, and increase to around 165 million by 2060 as a result of population growth, economic growth and growing international tourism.

To meet demand the Western Sydney Airport will be built at Badgery’s Creek in the following stages.

  • Stage 1 (complete 2026): A single 3,700m runway with a parallel taxiway, associated aviation terminal infrastructure and support precincts
  • Second runway (complete 2052): A second parallel runway
  • Long term capacity (complete 2064): Additional aviation infrastructure and support precincts to add further capacity to meet long-term forecast demand.

Perth Freight Link now Metronet, Western Australia

  • Purpose :  Upgrade Perth freight, rail and road capacity
  • Delivery timescale : Near term

The Perth Freight Link was a proposed $1.9 billion project in Perth, Western Australia, to improve the road freight link between Kewdale and Fremantle Harbour. The project was announced by the state government in May 2014 but is proposed to be cancelled following a change of government at the March 2017 state election.

Federal and State funding will now be channelled into the Perth Metronet.  Metronet is the long term blueprint to connect suburbs, reduce road congestion and meet Perth’s future planning needs.  The project will ensure that consideration of land-use outcomes is embedded in the design of new infrastructure to lay the groundwork for new communities.

The first stage of Metronet includes:

  • Completing the Forrestfield-Airport Link
    • Extending the Joondalup Line to Yanchep
    • Extending the Thornlie Line to Cockburn Central
    • Planning and building the new Morley-Ellenbrook Line
    • Extending the Armadale Line to Byford
    • Relocating Midland Station and extending the Midland Line to Bellevue
    • Building a new station at Karnup on the Mandurah Line
    • Removing level crossings on the Armadale, Midland and Fremantle lines
    • Planning for an inner-suburb light rail system, improving bus services and circle routes and creating better synergies between cycling infrastructure and public transport.


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Disclaimer – This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice.  We strongly recommend you seek your own professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.






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