Infrastructure spending was arguably the cornerstone of this year’s budget, with the bulk of that investment focused on transport to boost productivity and reduce congestion.
Over the next 10 years, the government committed $75 billion to various infrastructure projects – a third of which ($24.5 billion) is concentrated on transport.
The Roads of Strategic Importance initiative will see $3.5 billion being funneled into the upgrading of existing roadways to improve the access for essential service, markets and employment opportunities; investors will no doubt see property values rise as these roads will improve tenants' access to key facilities.
The breakdown of each state and territory receiving from the initiative is:
• $1.5 billion for a Northern Australia Package for Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia;
• $400 million for Tasmania;
• $220 million specifically for the Bindoon Bypass in Western Australia;
• $100 million specifically for the Barton Highway upgrade for NSW and the Australian Capital Territory; and
• $1.3 billion for future usage.
“There will … be a $3.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance initiative upgrading key freight routes. This initiative will boost our regional economies,” The Treasurer said on Tuesday evening.
An emphasis on improving Australia’s airports was also included, with a total funding of $50.1 million funneled to enhance the security of 64 regional airports, to improve their infrastructure and screening technologies.
Cities will also see a boost through the $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund to reduce the level of urban congestion in some of Australia’s bigger cities.
“Tonight I am announcing a $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund to support projects at a state-level to fix pinch points and improve traffic flow and safety in our cities,” Mr Morrison said.
The infrastructure projects being improved upon on a state- and territory-based level are:
New South Wales
• $1.5 billion is being contributed towards new projects, which include:
- $971 million for the Pacific Highway Coffs Harbour Bypass.
- $400 million for the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication.
- $155 million for the Nowra Bridge.
• The Commonwealth and NSW governments will be equally funding the first stage of the North South Rail Link in Western Sydney; and
• The construction of the Western Sydney Airport will commence this year with up to $5.3 billion of government equity being contributed as part of stage one, with approximately 28,000 direct and indirect jobs to be created as a result by 2031.
• $7.8 billion for new major projects, which include:
- Up to $5 billion for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.
- $1.8 billion for the North East Link.
- $475 million for Monash Rail.
- $335 million for electrification for the Frankston Line to Baxter.
- $140 million to improve congestion.
- $132 million to complete the duplication of the Princes Highway East from Traralgon to Sale.
- $50 million for Geelong Rail Line upgrades; and
• $9.3 billion for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project estimated to start this year, with an approximate 16,000 direct and indirect jobs created during construction.
• $5.2 billion for new major projects, which include:
- An additional $3.3 billion for upgrading the Bruce Highway.
- An additional $1 billion for the M1 Pacific Motorway.
- $390 million for the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade.
- $300 million for the Brisbane Metro project; and
• $170 million for the Cunningham Highway — Yamanto to Ebenezer (Amberley Interchange).
$2.6 billion for new major projects, which include:
- An additional $1.1 billion for the METRONET rail project.
- $944 million to tackle congestion in Perth.
- $560 million for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.
$1.8 billion for new major projects, which include:
- $1.4 billion for North-South Road Corridor projects.
- $177 million for the Regency Road to Pym Street section.
- $220 million for the Gawler rail line electrification.
- $160 million for the Joy Baluch Bridge.
$461 million for the Bridgewater Bridge replacement.
An additional $59.8 million for the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation package.
Australian Capital Territory
$100 million for the Monaro Highway upgrade.
$280 million for upgrades to the Central Arnhem Road and the Buntie Highway.
Other project funding
Other infrastructure investments include hundreds of millions to be spent on regional infrastructure, as well as a substantial investment in improving the health of the Great Barrier Reef – of key importance to the tourism industry.
Looking to the regional areas of Australia:
• $200 million will be injected for a third round of the Building Better Regions fund in order to support regional infrastructure and community investment.
• $272 million is being added to the Regional Growth Fund and is predicted to create more jobs.
Meanwhile the Great Barrier Reef will receive funds in the form of:
• $535.9 million being given to it in order to support the World Heritage-listed site and the jobs it creates.
• $443.8 million to partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to support the reef.
• $200.6 million to improve water quality.
• $100 million towards coral restoration and adaption research.
• $58 million towards programs for the crown-of-thorns starfish.
• $40 million towards reef health monitoring and reporting.
• $44.8 million for plan delivery and engagement with traditional owners and the broader community for reef protection.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.
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