Economy

Budget 2009: $22 billion for infrastructure in budget

Patrick Stafford /

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has announced $22 billion for major infrastructure projects focusing on rail networks, highways and ports across the country.

But the $22 billion figure is not all new spending – it includes projects from the last budget, the existing Building Australia fund, and the $4.7 billion already set aside for the national broadband network.

Several of the projects were recommended in Infrastructure Australia’s National Priority List, which was handed to the Government last week.

The projects that the Government will fund are:

  • $1.5 billion for the Hunter Expressway in NSW, with construction to begin next year and conclude in 2013.
  • A Pacific Highway-Kempsey bypass in NSW with new investment of $618 million, to start next year and take five years.
  • Ipswich Motorway and additional works in Queensland, with construction to begin this year and finish 2012. New investment will cost $884 million.
  • A $3.2 billion regional rail express line in Victoria, extending from West Werribee to Southern Cross Station, to start next year and finish 2014.
  • Modernisation of the Gawler rail line in South Australia, to cost $293.5 million and start next year and finish in 2013.
  • Extension of the Noarlunga-to-Seaford rail extension in South Australia to cost $291.2 million, and will start in 2010 and finish in 2013.
  • A Gold Coast light rail, with total federal investment of $365 million. Construction will commence in 2011 and finish 2013.
  • Commencement of preconstruction of the East-West Rail Tunnel in Victoria. Construction will begin in 2012, finish in 2018 and cost the Government $40 million.

The Government will also provide funding for other projects, including duplication of the Bruce Highway, construction of the Northbridge rail link and pre-construction of the Sydney-based West Metro project.

It will also provide funds for a feasibility study of Brisbane inner city rail, and money for developments in the Oakajee and Darwin ports.

The Government has also introduced funding for local services and infrastructure, with $1.9 billion, (of which $47.2 million is new spending), set aside for councils and shires to access.

Local governments will have access to $350 million to maintain road projects, with another $310 million flagged for local governments to begin major infrastructure initiatives.

Swan says the billions allocated to infrastructure are effectively the Government’s “third wave of stimulus”.

“This is a budget about nation building,” Swan said. “A budget that supports jobs, roads, rails and ports. It is the third wave of our stimulus package. It will bring jobs now and develop infrastructure for the long term.”

 

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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