John McGrath - Covid-19 Infrastructure Recovery Program Starts Locally
There will be more workers in hard hats and high-vis vests in various metro, regional and rural neighbourhoods as soon as a national program of small infrastructure projects gets underway.
New infrastructure will play a key role in Australia’s fight back against the economic effects of Covid-19.
State and federal governments are starting small by fast-tracking a big list of shovel-ready local area projects to create thousands of new jobs and get people back to work faster.
To see if your area is getting some attention, here is a list of key projects for the East Coast below.
Intersection upgrade package
The ACT Intersection Upgrade Package will improve road safety, pedestrian and cycle access and reduce traffic at Belconnen Way/Springvale Drive in Hawker; Launceston Street Irving Street in Phillip; Southern Cross Drive/Starke Street in Holt and Kuringa Drive/Owen Dixon Drive in Evatt.
New Light Rail stop at Mitchell
This new stop will be at the intersection of Sandford Street/Morisset Road and Flemington Road. It will provide better access to trades and services businesses in Mitchell and will increase customer foot traffic for other local businesses.
Pavement Rehabilitation Package
This project will repair damage and re-surface pavements both northbound and southbound on Northbourne Avenue.
Burke Developmental Road
The Burke Developmental Road connects Western Far North Queensland and the Gulf of Carpentaria to southern markets. The project will seal unsealed sections and widen narrow sections.
Tamborine-Oxenford Road: Howard Creek upgrade
This project will improve safety and reduce flooding on the Howard Creek Causeway at Wongawallan on the Gold Coast.
Local council projects
Under the $200 million COVID Works for Queensland program, every local council will get a base allocation of $1 million for local projects, with extra money on top that is reflective of population and unemployment. The big winners are Bundaberg, Townsville, Moreton Bay, Cairns, Fraser Coast and the Gold Coast council areas.
Pinch Point Program
Pinch Point aims to reduce congestion and shorten travel times. Projects include intersection upgrades at Showground Road/Carrington Road in Castle Hill; Devlin Street/Blaxland Road/Parkes Street in Ryde; Parramatta Road/Woodville Road in Holroyd; Georges River Road/Milton Street in Ashfield and King Georges Road/Canterbury Road in Wiley Park.
New schools will be built at Schofields, Liverpool, Catherine Field, Camden and Marsden Park in Sydney; as well as Warnervale on the Central Coast and Wagga Wagga in country NSW.
The second stage of the Tweed Valley Hospital upgrade has just been approved, along with an urban renewal program for Villawood Town Centre.
Regional Rail Revival
This project aims to improve travel times on the Ballarat, Bendigo, Gippsland, North East and Warrnambool to Melbourne train lines.
Duplication of Princes Highway East
The highway duplication between Traralgon and Sale will reduce congestion, improve travel times and boost economic development. There’s 12km left to be duplicated in the Flynn and Kilmany sections.
Targeted Road Safety Works
These works include upgrades to the Western Freeway north of Ballarat and an intersection upgrade at Geelong-Portarlington Road/Wilsons Road in East Geelong.
The government will build 10 new schools and upgrade 57 others (locations yet to be announced).
All of these small infrastructure projects are great for local property markets.
Small projects can really improve the liveability of your neighbourhood.
Better roads, new traffic lights and intersection upgrades won’t move property prices but they will make getting around faster and easier for you.
New schools and upgrades to major infrastructure, like hospitals are more likely to have a positive impact on home values over time.
The views expressed in this article are an opinion only and readers should rely on their independent advice in relation to such matters.
This article originally appeared in The Real Estate Conversation (July 27, 2020)