2018-19 Budget—Infrastructure: Busting Congestion, Connecting Our Regions, Improving Safety and Creating Jobs

14 May 2018

Federal Government: The Liberal and Nationals Government will invest more than $75 billion in nationally significant transport infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, including new funding of $24.5 billion for projects and initiatives which will improve Australians' lives across every State and Territory.

This investment will bust congestion in our cities to get commuters home sooner and safer, move freight more efficiently to our ports and markets, better connect our regions, grow our economy and create thousands of new local jobs.

It demonstrates a commitment to a credible, decade-long pipeline of infrastructure projects focused on driving economic growth, increasing productivity and connectivity and creating new employment opportunities. Our pipeline will create approximately 50,000 additional direct and indirect jobs over the next decade.

The Budget invests in new major rail and public transport infrastructure including: a commitment of up to $5 billion for construction of a rail link to the Melbourne Airport; $1.1 billion towards further components of Perth's METRONET program; $400 million to duplicate a section of the Port Botany Rail Line and construct the Cabramatta passing loop; $390 million for the upgrade of the Beerburrum to Nambour Line on the Sunshine Coast; $300 million for the Brisbane Metro project; and $220 million for the electrification of the Gawler Line in northern Adelaide.

It also delivers major urban and regional road projects including: $1 billion for the M1 Motorway corridor; $3.3 billion for the Bruce Highway in Queensland; $1.4 billion for Adelaide's North–South Corridor; $971 million to build the Coffs Harbour Bypass on the Pacific Highway in New South Wales; $1.75 billion for the new North East Link in Melbourne; $560 million to deliver Stages 2 and 3 of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road in Western Australia; $280 million for regional road works in the Northern Territory; $461 million to build a new Bridgewater Bridge to reduce travel times and improve traffic flow into Hobart; and a $200 million investment in the Barton and Monaro Highway corridors linking the Australian Capital Territory to New South Wales.

These investments are part of the Government's strong economic plan and are only possible due to our prudent management of the Budget.Through strong governance arrangements linked to funding commitments, the Government will ensure Australians get value for money on our investments and continue to press the States and Territories to provide their fair share of funding. The Government also remains committed to exploring every opportunity for private sector involvement to help reduce the cost on hard-working Australians.


The Commonwealth will provide significant investment in rail infrastructure to ensure people can move around our city centres more efficiently and better connect our cities and suburbs with regional areas. In this Budget, $7.9 billion will be allocated towards rail projects across the nation including:


The Government is continuing our ongoing commitment to bust congestion not only through our investments in major urban projects in the pipeline but also through a targeted $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund.

Congestion cost the national economy more than $16 billion in 2015 and commuters are sick of being stuck in traffic rather than spending time with their families. The Urban Congestion Fund will focus on alleviating this burden by investing in projects in urban areas that address pinch points and last-mile access to ports, airports and freight hubs.


This Budget includes $3.5 billion to establish the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative which will upgrade key freight corridors in regional Australia and increase productivity by connecting our major agricultural and resource areas with our cities and ports. The Initiative will also benefit urban areas where the primary focus will be last-mile access to ports, markets, airports and intermodal facilities. Upgrades to these roads will increase safety and provide broader benefits to regional Australia by supporting the tourism industry.

A portion of the funding from this Initiative will support a number of immediate priorities including:


The Pipeline lays out a clear plan for Commonwealth-funded construction over the next 10 years but it is also essential we continue to plan for the next phase of Government investment.

For this reason, $250 million will be allocated to a Major Project Business Case Fund to enable the Commonwealth to work in partnership with State and Territory Governments to develop business cases for major projects.

The first business cases funded will include $15 million to support planning for a passenger rail service between Toowoomba and Brisbane and $10 million for EastLink WA (Orange Route).


Accidents on our roads cost Australians about $30 billion a year, but this figure pales in comparison to the suffering of families who lose loved ones.

The Australian Government is continuing to fund the successful Black Spot Program with $744.5 million from 2013–14 to 2021–22 to deliver safety improvements, such as safety barriers and street lighting to sections of dangerous road which have a crash history. The Black Spot Program is one of the most effective road safety measures. On average Black Spot projects reduce the number of crashes causing death and injury by 30 per cent.

The Roads to Recovery Program will also be maintained with $4.8 billion from 2013–14 to 2021–22 for the construction, repair and upgrade of local roads.


This Budget continues a commitment to build a strong regional Australia with extensions to community grants programs to invest directly in economic and social infrastructure which creates jobs and builds stronger regional communities.

Following the success of the first round of the Building Better Regions Fund, which is delivering more than 250 projects across regional Australia and creating about 26,000 jobs, a further $200 million has been allocated to deliver a third round of the program.

Local knowledge is critical to successful community projects which is why the Stronger Communities Programme will be extended for a fourth round through a commitment of an additional $22.5 million. This program provides grants of between $2,500 and $20,000 to community organisations and Local Governments for capital projects, such as aged care facilities and community halls.

The commitment to practical and common sense decentralisation initiatives will continue to boost economic growth and provide more opportunities for secure, high-paying jobs outside the traditional public-service strongholds of Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.

Regional Australia has already directly benefited from this agenda with the successful relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Armidale in New South Wales and Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (now Agrifutures) to Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, and with the announcement the Regional Investment Corporation will be based in Orange, New South Wales.

To build on this success, jobs from six Government entities will be relocated, including positions from the following:

The Government's commitment to a decentralisation agenda is unwavering. In addition to the above, further significant announcements in relation to decentralisation will be made over the coming months.


The Government remains committed to delivering better access and safety upgrades to remote airstrips and will extend the Remote Airstrip Upgrade program by providing $28.3 million from 2018–19 to 2021–22.

Remote airstrip upgrades ensure continued access to essential, potentially lifesaving, health care as well as fresh food, mail services and access to employment and education opportunities.

This investment will boost local economies, support local needs and create more local jobs.

Competitive grants funding rounds will be conducted with applications sought from local airstrip owners, such as local councils, cattle stations and indigenous communities.


Local councils will benefit from an early payment of 50 per cent of the 2018–19 Financial Assistance Grant program.

This cash injection of more than $1.2 billion will give councils the opportunity to start work immediately on new projects and to benefit from additional interest on cash in the bank.



New South Wales


The Government also remains committed to the East West Link and our offer of $3 billion stands. We are ready to deliver the project should any Victorian Government decide to proceed.


Western Australia

The Government also remains committed to the Perth Freight Link and our offer of $1.2 billion stands. We are ready to deliver the project should any Western Australian Government decide to proceed.

South Australia


Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory

Northern Australia

For a list of key projects, visit: http://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/releases/2018/may/budget-infra_01-2018.aspx




Source:  Australian Government - www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au

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