Budget 1.0 that begs for a Budget 2.0

15 May 2017

Consult Australia: The Chief Executive of the peak-body representing 49 000 consulting firms in the built environment has welcomed the direction of the 2017/2018 Federal Budget but declared it a missed opportunity to capitalise on historic low borrowing rates.

Megan Motto, Chief Executive of Consult Australia, said: “This was budget big on planning for longer term infrastructure dividends.”

“It recognised infrastructure as a tool to increase productivity, the importance of business case development to get the right projects off the ground, and the role of government in being able to drive economic growth.

“Over $14 billion of direct government equity in major infrastructure delivery and financing agencies related to Snowy Hydro, Inland Rail, a National Rail Program, and Western Sydney Airport, all point to a government that understands the long-term nature of infrastructure projects.

“However, in the short term there is a sense of missed opportunity.

“Historically low bond rates and a triple-A credit rating mean there has never been a better time to borrow, to take on more good debt, yet as share of GDP, spending will drop from 25.5% to 25.2% in 2020-21 and real spend on infrastructure delivery will fall.”

“Plus, turning the employment of foreign workers in to a billion-dollar cash cow will make it harder for business to bring in the best and brightest needed to deliver Australia’s infrastructure agenda.”

“It is an Infrastructure Budget 1.0 that begs for an Infrastructure Budget 2.0 to better connect the strong sense of direction to greater spend for implementation, and the opportunity for Australia to maintain economic growth.”




Source:  Consult Australia - www.consultaustralia.com.au

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