Traffic congestion near IKEA and Coomera on the Pacific Motorway M1. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Traffic congestion near IKEA and Coomera on the Pacific Motorway M1. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

$1 billion plan to fix M1 bottleneck

A NOTORIOUS bottleneck which leaves hundreds of thousands of motorists stuck on the M1 on their daily commute will be opened up under a $1 billion dollar plan in tomorrow's Budget.

The 6km stretch of the M1 between Daisy Hill and the Logan Motorway will be widened and interchanges fixed under a Morrison Government plan to get people home to their families faster and stop the drain on business productivity.

Tomorrow's Budget will include the Federal Government forking out $500 million to fund the major road upgrade, with the State Government required to chip in the same amount.

$500 million will be committed to upgrade the M1 between Daisy Hill and the Logan Motorway. Picture: Nigel Hallett
$500 million will be committed to upgrade the M1 between Daisy Hill and the Logan Motorway. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Another $244 million in smaller upgrades to congestion hot spots in southeast Queensland, previously announced, will be confirmed in the Budget to be handed down by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg tomorrow.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had seen the traffic headaches on the M1 first-hand and was using the "strong budget position" to fix it.

"I've seen traffic banked up for kilometres. That means we have tradies sitting in traffic when they could be earning money, we have parents missing out on time with their kids, and we have truckies who can't get freight to their customers on time," he said.

"We're getting in and fixing this.

"This is a significant investment in tackling a congestion hotspot that is costing people precious time and losing businesses money."

More than 155,000 motorists used the stretch of highway each day and it is also used for freight and by tourists travelling between Queensland and New South Wales.

Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge said the announcement added to the $1 billion announced in last year's budget to upgrade the M1 from Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill.

"These upgrades are designed to get everyone home sooner and safer," he said.

 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will hand down his first budget in Canberra on Tuesday. Picture: Gary Ramage
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will hand down his first budget in Canberra on Tuesday. Picture: Gary Ramage

The new business case yet to be developed, though the Queensland Government committed $16 million to do this. The scope of the upgrade will depend on the business case, but it's likely to include extending the lanes beyond the current six and/or improving interchanges.

A business case for the Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill section of the M1 was completed last year, while the upgrades are currently being designed before construction is due to begin mid-next year.

The Coalition Government has committed $20 billion in infrastructure spending since it came to power in 2013-14.

This includes $244 million in its urban congestion fund for a range of smaller upgrades to traffic congestion hot spots which have been announced in recent months.

Of that, $50 million went towards corridor improvements to Gympie Arterial Rd, another $50 million for the Ipswich Mwy and $30 million for the Mt Lindesay Hwy.

Some of these projects, including $50 million for upgrading Exits 41 and 49 on the Pacific Motorway have been held up due to lack of State Government funding.

The Courier-Mail revealed earlier this month that $2.7 billion worth of fully funded Federal road projects were being held up due to State Government delays.

What we know: Budget announcements so far

- $30 million for biodiversity retention scheme to pay farmers not to clear trees on their land

- $730 million to seal 700km of roads dirt roads, including completing the Hann Highway, the Springsure-to-Tambo route and Savannah Way connecting Cairns to Broome.

- $400 million over four years for lump sum payments to GPs undertaking comprehensive preventive care packages for people with chronic illnesses.

- $50 million to fund feasibility studies for "fringe-of-grid" communities, allowing councils to apply for cash to build microgrids - stand-alone power systems that combine distributed energy resources including solar, diesel, wind and batteries.

- $33 million support strategy for flood-ravaged north Queensland communities, which includes $28m for upgraded weather monitoring systems.

- Banks will be forced to pay $550 million in levies so hundreds of investigators and lawyers can probe and prosecute their wrongdoings

- $40 million for five studies into fast rail routes, including Gold Coast to Brisbane

- $328 million domestic violence prevention package, including $11 million for the family court to share information with child protection agencies, $82 million to improve frontline services, $78 million to build or expand safe places, $68 million for prevention strategies, $64 million for a help line, and $35 million specifically for indigenous Australians.

- $30 million over four years for live music, including $22 million for $10,000 grants for venues to upgrade and put on more shows and artists to get better equipment, plus money for mentoring women in music and promoting indigenous music

- $200 million to reduce out-of-pocket costs for medical scans like MRIs

- $2.2 billion to fix road black spots

- Instant asset write off extended to July 2020 and increased from $20,000 to $25,000

- $150 million for women only changing rooms at sporting grounds and $40 million to upgrade local sporting clubs

- $45 million for National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse to teach parents and children how to be alert to predators

- $50 million for feasibility studies into for electricity "micro-grids", stand alone power systems for regional and remote communities at the edge of the energy network