Infrastructure Partnerships Australia: it’s not all doom and gloom for Victoria’s infrastructure sector

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The Victorian Government has delivered a sensible though slightly reduced infrastructure agenda, in an environment of climbing debt and economic pressure.

“Today’s budget acknowledges the sobering reality of the fiscal circumstances, with pandemic debts and inflationary cost pressures restricting the room in this Budget for new infrastructure spending.

“The Federal Government’s 90-day review of its Infrastructure Investment Program casts a long shadow over the Victorian Budget. While the vast majority of the committed Victorian pipeline will remain intact, uncertainty persists for some projects subject to Federal review – and the pauses on projects like the Melbourne Airport Rail and Geelong Fast Rail mean that the forward pipeline is looking leaner than it once was.

“But it’s not all doom and gloom, while the fiscal settings are sobering, Treasurer Pallas has largely protected the existing infrastructure programme.

“In the last two budgets, Victoria topped the national infrastructure funding charts. In the 2022-23 Budget $85 billion and 23 per cent of general government expenditure was committed to infrastructure. Today that has fallen to $78.5 billion dollars and 20 per cent.

“Despite the tough environment, Treasurer Pallas should be commended for still spending one in five Budget dollars on infrastructure.

“Broader reforms to procurement will make it easier for governments to strike the right balance of risk and cost sharing through future projects, while reforms to phase out stamp duty in favour of more efficient taxes for some properties are a step in the right direction”, said Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Chief Executive Adrian Dwyer.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia is the nation’s industry think tank providing independent policy research focused on excellence in social and economic infrastructure.

Source: © Infrastructure Partnerships Australia 2023

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