The Federal government has flagged some major road and infrastructure funding ahead of Treasurer Jim Chalmer’s first budget next week.
The Government used the NSW State Labor Party Conference in Sydney to reveal details of the major infrastructure and transport project spend. with around $10 billion earmarked for projects across the country.
NSW, has complained that it has not received a fair go in the proposed spending package, citing the fact that as only mainland state governed by the Liberal National Party coalition it believes it has been discriminated against in the infrastructure spend with lower amounts than other states, both in sheer dollar terms and on a per capita basis.
One package that NSW has received in the proposed spend is $300 million earmarked for the Western Sydney Roads Package and a further $500 million for the High Speed Rail Authority to start acquiring land for a fast train corridor between Sydney and Newcastle.
Victoria is earmarked to receive $2.2 billion for its Suburban Rail Link, while Queensland is set to receive $586.4 million of additional funding for a major upgrade of the Bruce Highway to widen a 13-kilometre stretch through Brisbane’s outer northern suburbs
For outback transport operators the government has assigned $1.5 billion for upgrading important freight highways, including sealing the Tanami Track, and upgrading the Central Arnhem Road, as well as the Dukes, Stuart and Augusta highways in SA
Tasmania is set to receive $540 million to upgrade its important road corridors, including the Bass Highway, the Tasman Highway and the East and West Tamar Highways, while WA will receive $125 million in funding to help build an electric bus network in Perth
The Government said in its announcement that the budget “takes an important first step in ensuring the Commonwealth’s infrastructure spending is responsible, affordable and sustainable”.
The statement added that Infrastructure Australia has been madethe premier body to advise Australian governments on its significant infrastructure gaps and opportunities.
“Sound and planned infrastructure investment in Australia creates jobs, builds opportunity and unlocks economic growth and productivity for our cities and our regions,” said Prime Minister Albanese.
“It’s about making journeys quicker, but also making sure people can get home to their families safely.
“Through our first budget, my team is getting on with the job of delivering projects in consultation with Infrastructure Australia and all levels of government to make a real difference to the lives of Australians.”
Infrastructure and transport minister Catherine King said that investing in national significant highways and roads will help the economy while putting much needed money into regional and urban roads will help make life easier and safer for everyone.
“Good infrastructure helps strengthen the economy and build connections between communities,” Minister King said.