The Federal Government’s Budget announcement saw a $100 billion investment in infrastructure, to be rolled out over the next 10 years.
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the infrastructure plan is designed to help manage Australia’s growing population, meet the national freight challenge and improve road safety.
“Our investment builds on generation-defining projects already underway, including the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, the Inland Rail and the long-overdue Melbourne Airport Rail link.
“Since 2013–14 we have committed over $145 billion to new and upgraded road and rail projects across Australia, creating more than 50,000 direct and indirect jobs. The 2019–20 Budget sees additional funding for major projects in every state and territory,” McCormack said.
Estimates put the cost of congestion in Australia’s capital cities at $25 billion per year, projected to reach $40 billion by 2030. In response, the budget has committed $3 billion to the Urban Congestion Fund, designed for projects that directly target bottlenecks.
Government will also provide $500 million for a Commuter Car Park Fund to make rail networks more accessible and take cars off the road.
$1.14 billion has been allocated to upgrade suburban arterial roads in south-eastern and northern Melbourne, Australia’s fastest-growing population centre.
$2 billion is allocated to the fast rail between Melbourne and Geelong, with a further $700 million to improve services through Waurn Ponds in suburban Geelong.
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A further $40 million will be invested in five fast rail business cases on corridors between Sydney and Wollongong, Sydney and Parkes (via Bathurst and Orange), Melbourne and Albury-Wodonga, Melbourne and Traralgon, and Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The budget also includes additional funding commitments for City Deals, bringing the Government’s contribution to $183.8 million for the Geelong City Deal and $174 million for the Adelaide City Deal.
National Freight Challenge:
According to McCormack the current freight system is under strain, with freight volumes expected to double over the next 20 years, coupled with significant changes to the nature of the freight task.
The government will contribute $8 million to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to work with local governments to improve road access for heavy vehicles, such as farming and construction machinery.
A Further $44 million has been allocated to the Supporting National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities—Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program to enhance the benefits of Inland Rail for regional Australia and the national freight network.
In addition, the government have committed up to $20 million to jointly fund two business cases for intermodal terminals in Melbourne and Brisbane, capable of supporting the Inland Rail.
$1 billion has been allocated to the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative to help connect regional business to local and international markets. Through the initiative government will invest in over 25 key freight corridors, connecting agricultural and mining regions to ports, airports and other transport hubs.
The budget has awarded $2.2 billion for road safety funding, including the establishment of a new national Office of Road Safety. The Office of Road Safety will be supported through the $4 million Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund and the $12 million Road Safety Innovation Fund.
$1.1 billion has been allocated for local governments under the Roads to Recovery program, which provides investment for road safety infrastructure in regional Australia.
An extra $550 million has been allocated for the Black Spot Program, targeting high-risk locations for upgrade.
A further $571.1 million has been allocated to improve the safety and efficiency of heavy vehicle operations via the Bridges Renewal Program, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.
$2.6 million will also be provided to the Australian Road Research Board, aiming to make professional expertise more readily available to local governments, helping them better understand and assess their road assets.
New South Wales: $3.5 billion for Western Sydney North South Rail Link.
Victoria: $2 billion for Fast Rail Program.
Queensland: $800 million for Gateway Motorway.
Western Australia: $348.5 million for Tonkin Highway.
South Australia: $1.5 billion for North-South Corridor.
Tasmania: $68 million for Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation Program.
Australian Capital Territory: $30 million for Kings Highway Corridor.
Northern Territory: $492.3 million for Roads of Strategic Importance.