02 April 2019

Australian Federal Budget 2019-2020: Projects and Infrastructure

This article was written by Sylvester Urban, Akash Mehta and Jordonne Colley

Infrastructure spending has been a major focus of this Budget, with significant projects slated in all States and Territories.

Key infrastructure spending

The Government has allocated substantial funding for Commonwealth infrastructure projects, as well as funding to support specific State and Territory infrastructure projects.  Roads have been a key priority in this budget and receive a large proportion of additional funding allocations.  A number of measures build on existing projects or announcements.

The key allocations for infrastructure are:

  • $1B in additional funding for improvements to the Princes Highway, increasing the Government’s total commitment to $1.9B
  • $2B for a fast rail link between Melbourne and Geelong, and $700M for stages 2 and 3 of the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Rail upgrade
  • $2.2B for road safety projects, including $1.1 billion for the Roads to Recovery Program,
  • $1.6B for roads and transport infrastructure in WA
  • $1.5B in additional funding for the North-South road corridor in SA
  • $1.4B for the Snowy 2.0 Snowy Hydro project
  • $1.1B for upgrades to suburban roads in Melbourne
  • $550.0 million for the Black Spot Program, $275.0 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, and $275.0 million for the Bridges Renewal Program $500M for the M1 Upgrade in Brisbane
  • $200M for a new Hawkesbury River crossing in Sydney

Specific infrastructure projects

NSW

An additional $6.1 billion in funding has been allocated for regional and urban transport infrastructure in New South Wales, including:

  • $3.5 billion for the first stage of the Western Sydney North South Rail Link, including $61.0 million for the Elizabeth Drive Overpass;
  • $1.6 billion for the M1 Pacific Motorway Extension to Raymond Terrace;
  • $405.0 million in additional funding for the M12 Motorway;
  • $400.0 million for the Newell Highway; and
  • $200.0 million for the Hawkesbury River Third Crossing.

The Government will also allocate $496.0 million to specific projects in New South Wales under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative, and $253.5 million to specific projects in New South Wales through the Urban Congestion Fund from funding provided in the 2018‑19 Budget.

The Government’s additional $1B in funding for Princes Highway upgrades includes $500.0 million in New South Wales.

This brings new commitments in the 2019‑20 Budget for road and rail projects in New South Wales under the Infrastructure Investment Program to $7.3 billion.


Queensland

The Government will provide an additional $2.6 billion from 2020‑21 for regional and urban transport infrastructure in Queensland.

The Government will allocate $1.0 billion to specific projects in Queensland under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative, and $378.8 million to specific projects in Queensland through the Urban Congestion Fund.

This brings new commitments in the 2019‑20 Budget for road and rail projects in Queensland under the Infrastructure Investment Program to $4.0 billion.

The Government will commit $9.6m over five years to establish the North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority including for irrigation and dams schemes.

The Government will also commit $71m towards the Hinkler Regional Deal supporting community and transport infrastructure projects.

South Australia

The Government will provide an additional $1.8 billion from 2018‑19 for regional and urban transport infrastructure in South Australia, including:

  • $1.5 billion for the North‑South Corridor; and
  • $259.8 million for a South Australian Rural Roads Package. 

The Government will allocate $341.0 million to specific projects in South Australia through the Urban Congestion Fund, including from funding provided through the measure Infrastructure Investment Program — Urban Congestion Fund — next priorities. The Government will also allocate $220.0 million to specific projects in South Australia through the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative from funding provided in the 2018‑19 Budget.

The Government’s additional $1B in funding for Princes Highway upgrades includes $200.0 million in South Australia.

This brings new commitments in the 2019‑20 Budget for road and rail projects in South Australia under the Infrastructure Investment Program to $2.6 billion.

The Government will also provide $165m to fund projects under the Adelaide City Deal, including $85m for an Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery and $30m for an International Centre for Tourism, Hospitality and Food Studies.

Tasmania

An additional $529.9 million in funding has been allocated to projects under the Hobart City Deal, primarily including $465.2 million to upgrade the Antarctic research station network and supporting infrastructure.

The Government will also provide an additional $68.0 million from 2021‑22 for Tranche 3 of the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation project, $210.0 million to specific projects in Tasmania under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative and $35.0 million to specific projects in Tasmania through the Urban Congestion Fund.

This brings new commitments in the 2019‑20 Budget for road projects in Tasmania under the Infrastructure Investment Program to $313.0 million.

Victoria

The Government will provide an additional $2.8 billion from 2019‑20 for regional and urban transport infrastructure in Victoria.

The Government will allocate $490.0 million to specific projects in Victoria under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative and $396.3 million to specific projects through the Urban Congestion Fund.

The Government will also provide a further $162.0 million for projects under the Victorian Congestion Package.

The Government’s additional $1B in funding for Princes Highway upgrades includes $300 million in Victoria.

This brings new commitments in the 2019‑20 Budget for road and rail projects in Victoria under the Infrastructure Investment Program to $6.2 billion.

The Government will also provide additional $30m of funding from 2020-21 for the Geelong City Deal to, among other things, upgrade tourism infrastructure.

Australian Capital Territory

The Government will provide an additional $50.0 million from 2021-22 for regional and urban transport infrastructure in the Australian Capital Territory.

Northern Territory

The Government will allocate an additional $60.0 million from 2019-20 for Tiwi Island road upgrades, and $492.3 million to the Northern Territory through the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative, including:

  • $162.3 million for the Alice Springs to Darwin corridor;
  • $160.0 million for the Alice Springs to Halls Creek corridor;
  • $70.0 million for the Tennant Creek to Townsville corridor;
  • $60.0 million for the Adelaide River to Wadeye corridor; and
  • $40.0 million for the Newman to Katherine corridor.

This brings new commitments in the 2019-20 Budget for road projects in the Northern Territory under the Infrastructure Investment Program to $622.3 million.

The Government will also provide $45.4m for the Barkly Regional Deal supporting projects that boost economic and social development in the Barkly Region, including installation of a new weather radar.

Western Australia

The Government will provide an additional $932.6 million from 2019‑20 for regional and urban transport infrastructure in Western Australia.

The Government will allocate $535.0 million to specific projects in Western Australia under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative and $121.8 million to specific projects in Western Australia through the Urban Congestion Fund.

This brings new commitments in the 2019‑20 Budget for road and rail projects in Western Australia under the Infrastructure Investment Program to $1.6 billion.


Queensland Flood Relief

The Government will provide $3.1 billion over five years from 2018‑19 for North Queensland’s livestock industry and associated communities in connection with the 2019 flood, including up to $1.75 billion in loans to banks to provide interest rate relief to eligible primary producers, up to $1.0 billion in loans to farm businesses through the Regional Investment Corporation, and $300 million in grants to primary producers.


Miscellaneous regional measures

A range of other regional measures were announced, including:

  • the Government will provide $496.2m for infrastructure project supporting local communities across Australia, for example construction of the Brisbane Lions’ training an administration facility in Springfield, Queensland;
  • the Government will provide $206.2m for an additional round of the Building Better Regions Fund, which supports regional community infrastructure and capability building projects;
  • $102.8m will be provided to establish the Regional Airports Program to upgrade infrastructure, safety and access at regional airports;
  • the Government will commit $44m for strategic regional rail business cases;
  • the Government will provide an additional $20.2m over two years for drought support projects, including to deliver local infrastructure.

Population Package

A supply of $2.1 billion is directed to addressing urban population pressures and includes:

  • $2.0 billion from 2021‑22 to reduce travel times, increase train patronage and ease traffic congestion;
  • $14.5 million from 2019‑20 and then $2.5 million annually for a National Faster Rail Agency to connect capital cities and regional centres with fast rail;
  • $23.4 million from 2019‑20 to support development of population policy across Government; and
  • $93.7 million from 2019‑20 and then $23.7 annually in support of regional higher education scholarships.

The Government will also provide $40.0 million to five business cases for fast rail across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.


Medical Research Fund

The Government will commit $5.0 billion for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), allocated to a variety of specific priorities including clinical trials, frontier health and medical research, large and complex health issues and progressing research to practice.

The Government will also commit $46m for health and medical research infrastructure, including a new dementia centre.

Other medical infrastructure measure are also proposed (including for regional cancer patients).


Urban Congestion Fund

From 2019-20, the Government will contribute $3.0 billion in additional funding to the Urban Congestion Fund, bringing the Government’s total commitment to $4.0 billion.  The allocation includes $500.0 million for a National Commuter Car Park Fund and targets major urban areas, supporting projects aimed to improve urban commuter and freight network efficiency and traffic safety and flow.


Space Infrastructure

The Government will also commit $19.5m for a Space Infrastructure Fund to accelerate Australia’s growing space industry.  The Government will also establish a mission control centre in Adelaide.

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