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Federal Labor Commits $30 Million To Upgrade Canberra Airport Transport Corridor

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Media Statement - 12th October 2007

Shadow Minister for Transport, Roads and Tourism, Martin Ferguson announced today that a Rudd Labor government will help fund a $60 million upgrade of roads in the Canberra International Airport precinct.

The ACT government has already started to upgrade airport precinct roads in Canberra with $15 million allocated in the 2007-08 Budget for a new entrance to the airport off Pialligo Drive and improvements at the Monaro Highway/Morshead Drive and Morshead Drive/Dairy Road intersections.

In addition Canberra International Airport will provide around $5 million to complete these projects.

The project includes the duplication of Pialligo Avenue providing two lanes each way from the intersection of Fairbairn Avenue, Beltana Road and Pialligo Avenue and running past Canberra International Airport.

There will be two lanes built for traffic entering the airport and a grade separated interchange at the airport’s new main entry point so two lanes can also exit the airport by passing under Pialligo Avenue and joining traffic heading to Civic.

The interchange will remove current traffic conflicts between airport passengers trying to get to Canberra and commuters and business vehicles heading to Queanbeyan.

Federal Labor’s $30 million, along with a further $10 million from the ACT government, will allow Stage 2 works in the airport precinct to follow on. These works will include:

  • Grade separation of the Monaro Highway and Pialligo Avenue
  • Traffic lights at the intersections of Monaro Highway/Morshead Drive, Pialligo Avenue/Beltana Road and Morshead Drive/Dairy Road
  • A new interchange at Morshead Drive/Fairbairn Avenue
  • Extension of Morshead Drive north by two kilometres to link into Majura Road (start of Majura Parkway)

    Mr Ferguson said a Rudd Labor government would work cooperatively with the ACT government and Canberra International Airport to get these roads built.

    He said “Canberra International Airport is the gateway to the national capital and very important to business and tourism in the surrounding regions of NSW.”

    “Canberra International Airport has also become an important business and employment hub for Canberra and Queanbeyan.”

    Employment in the Brindabella Business Park has risen from around 1500 to about 5000 over the last decade.
    Likewise, airport businesses have grown from 70 to around 120.

    Pialligo Avenue is the main access for the growing numbers of leisure and business visitors from Canberra International Airport to the national capital and surrounding regions in NSW. It is also an important road for workers commuting between Canberra, the airport precinct and Queanbeyan.

    Traffic congestion in the area is already a problem and will only get worse unless work starts now on upgrading airport roads. Twenty-eight thousand motorists a day already use Pialligo Avenue and there is a clear need for its duplication.

    In addition, the construction of thousands of new homes in Gunghalin has led to a trebling of traffic volumes on Majura Road from 5,000 vehicles a day to the current 16,000 and that is expected to steadily increase to about 40,000 vehicles a day in 15 to 20 years time.

    Majura Road and Pialligo Avenue are part of an increasingly important link between the Hume Highway, the national capital and the Canberra International Airport, a major regional transport hub.

    Mr Ferguson said the member for Fraser, Bob McMullan, the member for Canberra, Annette Ellis and Federal Labor’s candidate for Eden Monaro, Mike Kelly had raised concerns about airport congestion with him and asked for action to upgrade airport roads.

    Mr. Kelly said “Traffic management is a big issue for the many workers in and around Queanbeyan who use Pialligo Avenue every day to get to and from work.”

    Ms Ellis and Mr McMullan noted the importance of a modern efficient airport and road network to service the national capital. Martin Ferguson praised Mike Kelly, Annette Ellis and Bob McMullan for their strong representations on this issue.