11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT FUNDING DEER PARK BYPASS
The Australian Government has allocated $265 million to the Deer Park bypass and Leakes Road interchange to provide major improvements to the arterial road network in Melbourne 's West and road links to Ballarat.
The total cost of the project is $331 million and will require a 20% contribution of $66 million from the Victorian Government.
The project was identified under the Australian Government Transport Plan, AusLink, but money was not allocated for completion prior to 2009. Today's announcement, to fully fund the project within the current AusLink plan means that work can start next year and the project can be completed and opened by 2009. Funding has been pulled forward three years.
The Victorian Government will need to provide irrevocable commitments that no tolls will be imposed on this road at any time in the future. The Commonwealth will not tolerate a repeat of the fiasco over the Scoresby Freeway where after a State Election the Victorian Government broke its written agreement to jointly construct a freeway, withdrew public funding, and imposed tolls.
Never before, anywhere in the country has a State Government broken a written agreement to jointly fund road construction. The Australian Government will therefore require binding commitments to prevent the Victorian Government breaking any agreement over the Deer Park bypass in the way it broke the Scoresby Freeway Agreement.
The Deer Park bypass and Leakes Road interchange will provide major improvements to Melbourne 's arterial road network, especially supporting further residential development around Melton and easing driving conditions for Ballarat commuters.
The 9.3 km freeway standard bypass will run in a new alignment from the Western Highway at Caroline Springs to the Western Ring Road in Sunshine West, bypassing a 10 km speed-restricted section of the Western Highway containing 20 intersections and six sets of traffic signals.
8 October 2005