Australian Federal Budget 2017-18: Infrastructure

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This article was written by Karen McDonald and Michael Power. 

The Government has announced significant infrastructure spending across Australia with the focus on roads and rail in cities and regional areas.

In its 2017-18 Budget, the Government has committed to an ambitious infrastructure spending program with $75 billion in infrastructure funding and financing from 2017-18 to 2026-27 for critical airport, road, and rail infrastructure projects which include:

  • $10 billion for a National Rail Program to fund regional and urban rail investments;
  • $8.4 billion to deliver the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project;
  • in New South Wales, up to $5.3 billion to establish a new Commonwealth-owned company, WSA Co, to develop the Western Sydney Airport;
  • in Western Australia, $1.6 billion for new infrastructure projects including $700 million towards the METRONET rail project;
  • in Victoria, $1 billion, including $500 million to upgrade the regional passenger rail and $30 million to support planning a rail link from Melbourne CBD to Tullamarine Airport;
  • in Queensland, $844 million for the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program; and
  • in South Australia, $40 million to upgrade and maintain local road networks.

As expected, the Government plans to expand the use of debt and equity financing to fund infrastructure spending and will establish the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency to assess the Government's financing options for major projects going forward.

For a full analysis of this year's Budget measures, please see Australian Federal Budget 2017-18.

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