The Federal Budget contains significant investments in key transport infrastructure projects across all jurisdictions, as well as support for a range of initiatives that will be of interest to RA members.
$17.9 billion has been provided to support new and existing transport infrastructure projects nationally.
- $3.1 billion in additional funding to support the $3.6 billion Melbourne Intermodal Terminal Package (VIC);
- $1.6 billion for the Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast (Beerwah-Maroochydore) rail extension (QLD);
- $1 billion for the Sydney to Newcastle – (Tuggerah to Wyong) faster rail upgrade (NSW);
- $336 million for the Tasmanian Roads Package – Northern Roads Package – Stage 2 (TAS);
- $2.264 billion for the North South Corridor – Torrens to Darlington (SA);
- $200 million for the Tonkin Highway Stage 3 Extension (WA);
- $132 million for Central Australian Tourism Roads (NT);
- $46.7 million towards the Athllon Drive Duplication (ACT)
A more detailed list of investments made in each jurisdiction can be found here.
Road safety investments
There is a significant focus on improving regional road safety in the Budget, reflecting the fact that a disproportionate number of deaths and injuries occur in regional areas. The Budget will establish a Regional Australia Level Crossing Safety Program, which includes:
- $160.0 million for upgrades to level crossings;
- $6.5 million to deliver a national level crossing safety education and awareness campaign;
- $5 million to support research into and trials of new level crossing technologies and safety measures; and
- $2 million for improved data collection and risk assessment for level crossings.
Total Commonwealth investment in road safety projects over the next four years will be $25 billion.
In addition to major investments made in intermodal terminal infrastructure in Victoria that will support Inland Rail, the Budget also provides $300 million to support new grade separations in New South Wales along the Inland Rail route, along with a further $150 million to fund construction of complementary infrastructure projects that will unlock the benefits of Inland Rail for regional economies.
Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program
The Budget provides an additional $501.7 million for the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program. This program supports local governments to deliver priority projects to stimulate local economic activity. To date, the program has supported the delivery of around 7,900 individual projects. This additional funding will bring total investment in the program to $3 billion.
Reduction in Fuel Excise
To assist with rising inflationary pressures for businesses and households, the Federal Government has confirmed that fuel excise will be halved for the next 6 months, falling by 22 cents per litre from midnight tonight.
Although RA appreciates the need to reduce rising costs for businesses and households, this temporary reduction in fuel excise will be just that. RA again emphasises the need for the Commonwealth to lead the development of a fair, nationally consistent road user charging model and implementation framework which offers greater certainty around the future funding base for road infrastructure.
Although this will be a challenging reform, it is essential to provide governments and industry with a sustainable revenue stream to support the delivery and maintenance of road infrastructure in the long-term.
The Budget includes some changes to procurement rules that will make it easier for small and medium sized contractors to bid on government tenders.
The updated Commonwealth Procurement Rules enhance opportunities for SMEs to participate in major projects by:
- requiring officials to consider disaggregating major projects into smaller contract opportunities, where unbundling would allow greater competition and is appropriate to the type of work on offer;
- reducing the value of insurance costs that suppliers incur, to a reasonable level, and making it clear that, in most circumstances, insurance is not required until a contract is awarded;
- providing faster cash flows through supply chains, by extending our ‘pay on time’ policy to all suppliers (we will pay eInvoices within 5 days and other invoices within 20 days or pay interest); and
- allowing the Department of Defence to build local sovereign capabilities by directly purchasing from SMEs, or using tenders that are limited to SMEs, for procurements worth up to $500,000.
This welcome step is consistent with recommendations RA put forward in our pre-Budget submission, as well as our September 2020 Procurement Reform Report.
Measures to address skills shortages
The Budget makes several targeted investments to address the impact of labour market shortages and encourage greater workforce participation.
These include providing $5,000 payments to new apprentices, as well as wage subsidies of up to $15,000 to employers who take on new apprentices.
The government has also expanded eligibility arrangements for paid parental leave, with more households able to decide how they will share the 20 week entitlement, and single parents able to access the full 20 weeks for the first time.
Project investments by state/territory
- $1 billion for the Sydney to Newcastle – (Tuggerah to Wyong) faster rail upgrade;
- $336 million for the Pacific Highway – Wyong Town Centre;
- $264 million for the Newell Highway Upgrade – Heavy Duty Pavement Upgrades – North Moree;
- $232.5 million for Mulgoa Road Stage 2 – Glenmore Parkway to Jeanette Street, Stage 5A Blaikie Road to Jamison Road and Stage 5B Jamison Road to Union Road;
- $100 million for the Southern Connector Road, Jindabyne;
- $95.6 million for the Picton Bypass and and Picton Road – Planning;
- $77.5 million for a business case for Stage 2 of the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport line;
- $352 million for the Milton Ulladulla Bypass;
- $300 million for the Grade Separating Road Interfaces; and
- $65 million for the M5 Motorway – Moorebank Avenue – Hume Highway Intersection Upgrade
- $1.2 billion for the Beveridge Interstate Freight Terminal in Beveridge, taking the total investment to $1.62 billion;
- $280 million for Road Connections, including Camerons Lane Interchange, to the Beveridge Interstate Freight Terminal;
- $740 million for the Western Interstate Freight Terminal in Truganina;
- $920 million for the Outer Metropolitan Ring – South Rail connection to the Western Interstate Freight Terminal;
- $109.5 million for the Mickleham Road Upgrade;
- $45 million for the Ballarat to Ouyen – Future Priorities; and
- $23.1 million for the Canterbury Road Upgrade
- $1.6 billion for the Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast (Beerwah-Maroochydore) rail extension;
- $1.121 billion for the Brisbane to the Gold Coast (Kuraby – Beenleigh) Faster Rail Upgrade;
- $150 million for the Brisbane Metro – Woolloongabba Station;
- $396 million for the South East Queensland City Deal;
- $27.2 million for three business cases for upgrades on the Bruce Highway between Anzac Avenue and Caboolture Bribie Island Road;
- $22.5 million for Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games 2032 business case development;
- $20 million for safety upgrades on the Brisbane Valley Highway;
- $68.5 million for the Cooktown to Weipa Corridor Upgrade; and
- $11.5 million for the Tennant Creek to Townsville Corridor Upgrade
- $2.264 billion in additional funding for the North South Corridor – Torrens to Darlington;
- $200 million for the Marion Road – Anzac Highway to Cross Road;
- $120 million for the Adelaide Hills Productivity and Road Safety Package;
- $60 million for the South East Freeway Managed Motorways – Stage 2;
- $60 million for the Targeted Investments to Improve National Supply Chain Resilience;
- $16 million for the Main South Road Productivity Package;
- $40 million in additional funding for Horrocks Highway Corridor; and
- $20 million in additional funding for the Marion Road and Sir Donald Bradman Drive Intersection Upgrade.
- 145 million for the Thomas Road – Dual Carriageway – South Western Highway to Tonkin Highway and interchange at Tonkin Highway;
- $140 million for Regional Road Safety Upgrades;
- $100 million for the METRONET: Morrison Road Level Crossing Removal;
- $50 million for the Tonkin Highway – North Ellenbrook Interchange;
- $48 million for the Moorine Rock to Mt Holland Road Upgrades;
- $40 million for the Newman to Katherine Corridor Upgrade – Great Northern Highway Upgrade – Newman to Port Hedland Overtaking Lanes;
- $320 million for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road (Stages 2 and 3);
- $200 million for the Tonkin Highway Stage 3 Extension;
- $178 million for the Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation – Stages 1 and 2;
- $135 million for the METRONET: Thornlie-Cockburn Link;
- $116 million for the METRONET: High Capacity Signalling; and
- $90 million for the METRONET: Yanchep Rail Extension
- $336 million for the Tasmanian Roads Package – Northern Roads Package – Stage 2;
- $100 million for the Great Eastern Drive Tourism Support – additional packages;
- $96 million for the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation Program – Tranche 4;
- $56 million for the Tasmanian Roads Package – Tasman Highway Sideling Upgrade – Stage 2;
- $24 million for the Bell Bay Line – Reconnection to the Bell Bay Wharf;
- $14.4 million for the Melba Line Bulk Minerals Rail Hub; and
- $13.5 million for the Hobart – Northern Transit Corridor Solution
- $132 million for Central Australian Tourism Roads; and
- $55 million for the Tiger Brennan Drive/Berrimah Road Intersection Upgrade
- $46.7 million for the Athllon Drive Duplication;
- $2.8 million for the Kent Street and Novar Street Intersection Upgrades; and
- $1.5 million for the Inner Canberra Corridor Planning Package