Commonwealth spends $75 billion on ‘game-changing’ infrastructure

The 2017 Federal Budget has unveiled a ‘once-in-a-generation’ $75 billion spending program for infrastructure projects nationally.

More than $75 billion has been earmarked by the federal government on infrastructure spending programs – with ‘game-changing’ projects being rolled off the aisles.

The commonwealth’s minister for infrastructure and transport, Darren Chester, flagged the 2017-2018 allocations as being one of the most ambitious infrastructure spending programs to date.

Among the funding allocations, the Australian government had earmarked $10 billion on an ambitious “National Rail Program.”  An additional $8.4 billion was allocated to build the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail, being the commonwealth's biggest rail project in 100 years.

This would build a dedicated high productivity rail freight corridor, while getting freight off the roads and onto rail.

Canberra also made an equity commitment of up to $5.3 billion towards a “Government Business Enterprise” to build and operate the Western Sydney Airport.

Up to $8.4 billion equity has been provided to the Australian Rail Track Corporation. This is for Inland Rail to provide a high-capacity freight link between Melbourne and Brisbane.

Minister Chester said that committing equity towards the two projects reflected a clear and deliberate shift in the way the administration had financed major, nation-building pieces of infrastructure. This focused on a greater use of equity and loans under joint funding programs.

Equity funding as a portion of total infrastructure spending helped manage forward estimates.

An earlier Ernst and Young report noted that infrastructure projects had come a long way in the past decade. “This is in part due to the introduction of infrastructure organisations charged with taking a long- term view of infrastructure needs and providing independent advice to governments.”

Among the bodies, Infrastructure Australia and similar organisations in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and Tasmania had raised the standards of infrastructure planning and decision-making.

This advice also ensured that infrastructure policy shifted away from ad-hoc projects to a more evidence-based, long-term and strategic view of infrastructure needs.

 

Related Stories

Aus Gov seeks public feedback on data agenda
The request comes a month after the release of the Productivity Commission’s Data Availability and... Read More
Govt announces $1.9M to address ‘critical cyber-security skills shortage’
Allocated over four years, the money will be used to establish the Academic Centre of Cyber... Read More
Commonwealth earmarks $10.6 million on Cybersecurity
The Australian government has bulked up spending for cyber-security – with a four-year program... Read More
This pact was finalised by Arthur Sinodinos, Australian minister for industry, innovation and science, and Simon Bridges, New Zealand’s minister for economic development, transport and communications.   The agreement was finalised this month at the high-p
Australia and New Zealand sign first-ever science and innovation pact
In the first treaty of its kind, Australia and New Zealand have teamed up to build the Trans-Tasman... Read More

Comments