The Australian Government has announced it will commit $9.6 billion for vital infrastructure projects across Australia in its 2022/23 Federal Budget.
The main projects included in the Budget are as follows:
- $300 million for Western Sydney Roads Package and $500 million for the High-Speed Rail Authority
- $2.2 billion for the Suburban Rail Link in Victoria
- $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
- $1.5 billion for upgrading important freight highways, sealing the Tanami, and upgrading Central Arnhem Road, as well as the Dukes, Stuart and Augusta highways in SA
- $540 million to upgrade Tasmania’s important road corridors, including the Bass Highway, the Tasman Highway and the East and West Tamar Highways.
- $125 million in funding to help build an electric bus network for Perth
Infrastructure commitments by state:
$1 billion infrastructure boost for NSW
The October Budget includes $300 million for the Western Sydney Roads Package, which will provide $50 million for planning and preparatory works for the Castlereagh Connection, $37 million for Richmond Road planning and $75 million for planning and early works in the North West Growth Corridor.
The Government has made high speed rail a priority by introducing legislation to establish the High Speed Rail Authority.
Through this Budget, the Government is moving to make high speed rail connections between Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle a reality via a $500 million investment to start corridor acquisition, planning and early works.
$2.57 billion infrastructure boost for Victoria
The Federal Government will fund $330 million of important road infrastructure upgrades including:
- Camerons Lane Interchange at Beveridge ($150 million)
- Barwon Heads Road Upgrade – Stage 2 ($125 million)
- Ison Road Overpass ($57 million)
The Camerons Lane Interchange at Beveridge will help create thousands of jobs and unlock the potential of Melbourne’s north while allowing to deliver a full diamond interchange with the Hume Highway.
Helping build stage 2 of the Barwon Heads Road duplication will help communities with quicker and safer travel to and from home, while the new four-lane Ison Road Overpass will give residents better access to surrounding areas and cut congestion in central Werribee.
The budget also includes $2.2 billion for the Suburban Rail Loop in Melbourne.
$1.47 billion infrastructure boost for Queensland
This includes $586.4 million of additional funding for a major upgrade of the Bruce Highway through Brisbane’s outer northern suburbs.
The Budget also includes $200 million Australian Government funding to upgrade the Bruce Highway between Dohles Rocks Road and Anzac Avenue, expanding the road from six to eight lanes and building on/off-ramps at the southern end.
There is also funding to complete detailed planning works for the next stage of the Ipswich Motorway.
The funding goes to regions and urban areas and will support jobs and skills during construction and improve freight reliability.
$2.5 billion infrastructure boost for the Northern Territory
- $1.5 billion in planned equity to support the construction of common user marine infrastructure within the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct, providing a pathway to a decarbonised economy by helping emerging clean energy industries,
- $440 million in planned equity to support the development of regional logistic hubs
- $350 million of additional funding to seal the Tanami Road and upgrading Central Arnhem Road
- $332 million towards the NT Strategic Roads Package
Developing marine infrastructure at Middle Arm will open new export opportunities in Northern Australia for commodities such as green hydrogen and critical minerals, with associated downstream opportunities for onshore processing and low-emission manufacturing.
Additional funding for the Tanami Road and Central Arnhem Road will continue strategic upgrades to support Indigenous and remote communities and businesses, improving flood immunity and reliability, making good on our election commitment to deliver significant new funding.
$685 million infrastructure boost for Tasmania
The Government is investing $540 million to upgrade Tasmania’s important road corridors, including the Bass Highway, the Tasman Highway and the East and West Tamar Highways.
The Australian Government will work closely with the Tasmanian Government to target the highest-priority locations for the upgrades, which will improve safety and travel times.
The Budget will also commit up to $35 million for the TransLink transport hub at Launceston Airport and honour its election commitment to provide $60 million towards the upgrade of the runway at Hobart Airport.
$660 million infrastructure boost for South Australia
This includes $60 million to construct on and off ramps for the Southern Expressway at Majors Road which will reduce traffic on Brighton Road.
It also includes $200 million to reduce congestion in Adelaide’s south and improve road safety by removing the Marion Road Level Crossing and upgrading Marion Road between Cross Road and Anzac Highway.
These major investments will remove a major blockage for locals’ daily commute, improve safety for motorists and pedestrians, and create business opportunities across the region with improved transport flows and better amenity.
The Budget investment will also include a share of a new $1.5 billion Freight Highway Upgrade Program.
This investment will deliver priority upgrades to the interstate Tanami Road and other nationally significant freight routes, including the Dukes, Stuart and Augusta highways in SA.
$670 million infrastructure boost for Western Australia
The budget includes $125 million toward electric bus charging infrastructure, which will be matched by the WA Government through the local manufacture of 130 new buses. This funding will help deliver a new electric bus network for Perth through upgrades to bus depots and the installation of appropriate charging infrastructure. This investment will ensure that depots are future-ready.
The first locally manufactured buses will roll off the assembly line in 2024-25 and will be used in the Perth CBD, with the remainder of the buses to service the Perth metropolitan region.
The next generation of Perth’s public transport will be built by local workers, with over 100 new jobs will be created by this initiative, and more than 300 existing workers transitioning to jobs in cleaner technology.
The Budget investment will also include a share of a new $1.5 billion Freight Highway Upgrade Program, which will deliver priority upgrades to the interstate Tanami Road and other nationally significant freight routes.
Industry reacts to Albanese government’s first Budget
Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew AO HonFIEAust welcomed the Government’s commitment, which aligned with the policy goals the association has been advocating for.
Just like Engineers Australia, the Australian Constructors Association welcomed funding to support the establishment of the National Construction Industry Forum.
“Government, industry and unions have an opportunity through this Forum to build a stronger, more sustainable construction industry and we need to grasp it with both hands,” said ACA’s CEO John Davies.
However, the Association is disappointed with the Government’s decision to shelve Queensland’s Rockhampton Ring Road project:
“The public sector is the largest single buyer of major projects in Australia, so decisions of this sort really do deter industry from investing and create uncertainty that prevents increased direct employment,” said Mr Davies.
“There was no shortage of bidders for the Ring Road and two joint ventures have already been shortlisted so scarcity of resources should not be cited as a reason for deferral.
“Contractors incur substantial bid and tendering costs which in many cases are only partially reimbursed with contractors expected to absorb the costs as part of doing business.
“The construction industry already operates on razor thin margins and accounts for 26 per cent of all insolvencies, despite making up only 17 per cent of all businesses.”
The Infrastructure Sustainability Council said the commitments reflected infrastructure’s role as an enabler of social, economic and environmental benefits, and was welcomed by its CEO, Ainsley Simpson.
“This Budget represents a sensible first step in addressing climate change, but with only seven years to 2030 and the need to reduce our emissions by at least 43 per cent, it’s time to make every dollar count,” Ms Simpson said.
“While integrated climate, industry and infrastructure policy work is underway, immediate action is needed to deliver wider benefits from the $248 billion infrastructure pipeline and avoid locking-in decades-worth of harmful emissions.
Source: © Commonwealth of Australia
Source: Engineers Australia
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