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AusLink is a former Australian Government land transport funding program, that operated between June 2004 and 2009. The former program was administered by the former Department of Transport and Regional Services. In 2009, the program was replaced with the Nation Building Program under the Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Act 2009. The Nation Building Program was administered by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport and that program was replaced by The National Land Transport Network, as determined by the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development under the National Land Transport Act 2014.
AusLink was administered under the AusLink (National Land Transport) Act 2005, until the 2005 legislation was superseded by the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008, the Nation Building and Jobs Plan (State Infrastructure Delivery) Act 2009, the Nation-building Funds Act 2008 and the Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Act 2009.
Major projects completed as part of the AusLink program and information on the funding projects in the states and territories
Sydney to Melbourne
Brisbane to Sydney
Melbourne to Adelaide
Brisbane to Darwin
Dubbo to Sydney
Rail funding has been announced for the following projects (Auslink project search)
- $550 million from AusLink and additional Australian Rail Track Corporation funds for an upgrade the 684 km of AusLink Network track and signalling along the North-South rail corridor from Maitland to Brisbane to reduce transit times substantially and to permit more trains to operate safely on the largely single track line.
- $192 million through the Australian Rail Track Corporation for a new access route for freight trains through the south-western Sydney metropolitan area from Macarthur to Chullora, the Southern Sydney Freight Line project.
- $110 million on the RailCorp metropolitan track system towards improving rail access for freight trains between Strathfield and Hornsby. Some of these funds will be available during the later part of the current five-year AusLink investment programme, for the development of the Port Botany rail link.
- $110 million to the Government of Victoria for a new rail link and grade separation from Footscray Road between the Dynon intermodal freight precinct and the Port of Melbourne.
- $45 million to convert the broad gauge line between Geelong and Mildura and between Melbourne and Albury to standard gauge.
- $42 million to the Australian Rail Track Corporation to extend the Code Division Multiple Access mobile phone system to cover the interstate rail network. This will achieve a single national media for voice and data communications for the non-metropolitan interstate rail system. This is being provided through Telstra and will later need to be converted to 3GSM when Telstra replaces its CDMA network with 3GSM.
- $40 million to the Australian Rail Track Corporation towards the cost of the line upgrading and signalling system between Tottenham and West Footscray.
- $20.3 million to the Australian Rail Track Corporation to develop Australia's next generation of train control technology, including the capacity for computerised on-board signalling to replace the current track-side system, satellite-based location technology to track trains to within 3 metres, and a computerised warning system that alerts drivers to impending dangers.
- $20 million towards a Wodonga rail bypass to remove the Melbourne-Sydney line running through the centre of Wodonga.
- $8 million for crossing loop extensions at Jamestown and Mingary between Crystal Brook, South Australia and Broken Hill, New South Wales at Yarrabandia and Matakana between Broken Hill and Parkes.
- Up to $5 million from for a major study of the North-South rail corridor between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The study will examine future freight demand, capacity and options for development of the North-South rail corridor. It will form part of the broader AusLink corridor study of transport links between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
- $4 million for new passing loops at Mungala and Haig on the Trans-Australian Railway.
- $3.5 million for the upgrade and strengthening of the Albury Murray River rail bridge.
- $2.6 million for the installation of an In-Cab Activated Points System to avoid the need for train crew to manually change switches (railroad switches).
- $2.5 million for the upgrading and strengthening of the Murray River Bridge at Murray Bridge, South Australia.
The program was criticised as being a pork barrelling exercise.