In the 2013-14 Budget, the Federal Government has promised to
invest a further $24 billion on roads, rail and ports from 2014-15
to 2018-19. The eastern States are the big infrastructure winners
in the Budget, with over $10 billion in funding for road and rail
projects in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. Western Australia, South
Australia and Tasmania also received significant funding
The Federal Government has clearly prioritised funding to
projects identified as "ready to proceed" in
Infrastructure Australia's 2012 infrastructure priority list.
Interestingly, the Federal Labor Government has not provided
funding for two key projects in Victoria and NSW which the
Coalition State Governments and Federal opposition have committed
to fund. Perhaps the most significant of these is the East West
Link Project, which the Victorian State Government prioritised in
its budget last week (above Melbourne Metro Project Stage 1, which
the Federal Government is funding).
New infrastructure funding commitments
Below is summary of the most significant new infrastructure
WestConnex (M4 extension and M5 duplication)
– $1.8 billion, subject to preconditions. The total estimated
cost is $10 billion.
Road tunnel to connect F3 with the M2 - $400
Melbourne Metro Stage 1 – $3 billion (of
a total estimated cost of over $5 billion)
M80 RingRoad widening – $525.1
Victorian National Managed Motorways (Monash
Freeway, High Street to Clyde Road) – $78.5 million (Victoria
will fund the balance of the project)
Bruce Highway upgrades - $4.1 billion over 10
Gateway North Motorway (upgrade and widening)
- $718 million
Brisbane Cross River Rail – $715 million (of total
estimated over $5.1 billion)
Warrengo Highway (Toowoomba to Miles
improvements) – $317.5 million
Perth Public Transport Package - $500 million
for either the Perth Airport Rail Link or the Perth Light Rail
project (i.e. Metro Area Express)
Perth-to-Darwin National Highway (Swan Valley
Bypass) - $418 million. The WA Government has committed $196
million, with the balance to be met by private capital.
Great Northern Highway (Muchea to Wubin
improvements) – $307.8 million
Adelaide South Road upgrade - $448
Midlands Highway upgrade – $500 million
over 10 years
What key projects missed out?
East West Link, Victoria (estimated cost of $6
to 8 billion) – The Federal Government has provided no
funding for this project, despite the State Government's
commitment to build it and recent funding of $294 million. The
Federal Government has clearly prioritised Melbourne Metro Stage 1
over East West Link, consistent with Infrastructure Australia's
2012 priority list. Notably, the Federal opposition has promised
$1.5 billion in funding for East West Link. Time will tell if the
Federal opposition increases that funding commitment and also
promises funds for Melbourne Metro Stage 1.
Pacific Highway Corridor Upgrades, NSW
(estimated cost of $6.4 billion) – This is the only project
identified by Infrastructure Australia as "ready to
proceed" in 2012 which has not received Federal funding. To
the contrary, the Federal opposition has promised to fund 80% of
the cost of the project.
WestConnex, NSW – While the Federal
Government has provided $1.8 billion for this project, the
preconditions may effectively mean these funds will never become
available. The preconditions include ensuring that the road
connects directly to the city and Port Botany and that new tolls
are not imposed on existing un-tolled roads. The NSW Treasurer has
been reported as saying that the road would require tolls in order
While many of the projects selected follow Infrastructure
Australia's 2012 infrastructure priority list, others funded
are not included in that list. Further, not all the projects funded
follow the priorities identified by the States themselves.
In the case of both the East West Link and WestConnex projects,
the relevant State Governments will clearly need to rethink their
funding models if they are to proceed with their own priorities
over those of the Federal Government. Of course, given the Federal
Coalition's support for both of these key projects, that
dilemma may not arise after 14 September 2013.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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