Infrastructure investment securing Australia’s economic recovery

The Morrison-McCormack Government is securing Australia’s recovery with a record investment in infrastructure as part of the 2021-22 Budget, which will support and secure jobs, drive growth and help rebuild Australia’s economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline forms part of our Economic Recovery Plan and will secure Australia’s world-leading economic recovery by delivering nation-building infrastructure projects, water security to inland Australia, meeting our national freight challenge and getting Australians home sooner and safer.

This includes an additional $15.2 billion in new commitments to infrastructure projects through the 2021-22 Budget, supporting an estimated 30,000 jobs across Australia.

Delivering the nation-building projects Australia needs

As part of our plan to secure Australia’s recovery, the Government is focusing on new commitments in major infrastructure projects right across the country, including:

  • $2.0 billion for Great Western Highway Upgrade – Katoomba to Lithgow – Construction of East and West Sections in New South Wales;
  • $2.0 billion investment to deliver a new Melbourne Intermodal Terminal
  • $400.0 million for Bruce Highway Additional Funding in Queensland;
  • $237.5 million for METRONET: Hamilton Street / Wharf Street Grade Separations and Elevation of Associated Stations in Western Australia;
  • $161.6 million for the Truro Bypass in South Australia;
  • $150.0 million for National Network Highway Upgrades (Phase 2) in the Northern Territory;
  • $80.0 million for Bass Highway Safety and Freight Efficiency Upgrades in Tasmania; and
  • $26.5 million for William Hovell Drive Duplication in the Australian Capital Territory.

This is in addition to the Government’s significant existing investment in projects that will define the success of local communities for years to come, including the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, due to open in 2026, Sydney Metro Western Sydney Airport and the much-needed Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

More than 220 major Australian Government funded projects are currently under construction. These projects are expected to support around 100,000 jobs during their construction lives.

The Government will also commit up to $2.0 billion to deliver a new Intermodal Freight Terminal in Melbourne. This will support both the Victorian and national freight networks, creating up to 1,350 jobs during peak construction and a further 550 jobs during peak operation.

Additional capacity delivered by the intermodal terminal is required to meet the future freight needs of Victoria and Australia’s domestic and international supply chains, as well as realising the full benefits of Inland Rail.

This is part of the Government’s commitment to funding transformational infrastructure to increase the productivity, efficiency and capacity of the national freight network. This investment will also support the Australian Government’s National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

Life-saving road safety investment

Road crashes cost the national economy approximately $30 billion a year, but this figure is far outstripped by the immeasurable suffering of families impacted by road deaths and serious injuries.

The Budget backs an additional $1.0 billion for the now $3.0 billion Road Safety Program. With work having commenced in January 2021, almost $1.0 billion for approximately 700 projects has been approved under Tranche 1 of the program. Future tranches will continue installing life-saving road safety upgrades to prevent fatal and serious crashes across all states and territories. This funding is estimated to support around 4,500 jobs, taking the total jobs supported across the nation by the Road Safety Program to around 13,500.

The Office of Road Safety will continue to play a significant role in improving road safety in Australia and the Budget will provide $5.1 million of new funding over four years to support this important work.

Local jobs and infrastructure in your community

The Budget will provide an additional $1.0 billion for the highly successful, now $2.5 billion Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, to deliver the local projects that matter to communities, while stimulating economies across the nation. This funding is estimated to support around 3,500 jobs, taking the total jobs supported across the nation by the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program to around 9,000.

A further $40 million over two years is being invested in South Australian Local Roads Supplementary Funding, which will improve road safety and help ensure a lower road toll on local roads in South Australia.

An additional $28.2 million is also being provided to extend the Stronger Communities Programme, which provides grants of between $2,500 and $20,000 across the country to community organisations and local governments for small capital projects that deliver social benefits for local communities.

Building water infrastructure for a sustainable agricultural future

The Government is continuing to deliver on a National Water Grid to help improve water security in our regions. The 2021-22 Budget invests up to a further $258.0 million, including up to $160 million through the National Water Grid Connections pathway, from the $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund towards the construction of new and augmented water infrastructure projects, building a more resilient and secure Australia.

The Government’s ongoing investment in water infrastructure builds on the eight construction projects already completed since our establishment of the National Water Grid Authority in late 2019 and brings the total number of construction projects in the investment pipeline to 30.

The new and augmented construction projects being funded in partnership with states include:

  • Eurobodalla Southern Storage (New South Wales) – $51.2 million.
  • Werribee Irrigation District Modernisation (Victoria) – $11.0 million.
  • Recycled Water on the Bellarine (Victoria) – $5.5 million.
  • Warwick Recycled Water for Agriculture – Recycled Water Treatment Upgrade (Queensland) – $0.5 million.
  • An additional $7.5 million for Rookwood Weir to deliver water security in North Queensland by raising the weir wall a further 700 millimetres to deliver an additional 10,000 megalitres. This brings total Australian Government investment in the project to $183.6 million.

Strengthening our regions through continued investment

The 2021-22 Budget continues to build a strong regional Australia through extensions to community grants programs that invest directly in economic and social infrastructure – creating jobs and building stronger regional communities. Funding will flow directly to regions through the following initiatives:

  • An additional $250 million for a sixth round of the successful Building Better Regions Fund, which builds on more than $1.0 billion already committed to our regional towns and cities from the Fund.
  • The Australian Government has brought forward approximately 50 per cent of the 2021-22 Financial Assistance Grant funding. This cash injection of more than $1.3 billion will give councils vital support to assist with the combined impacts of drought, bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through record infrastructure investment, the Morrison-McCormack Government’s 2021-22 Budget is securing Australia’s recovery, creating and supporting jobs, driving growth and laying the foundations for the next stage of our Economic Recovery Plan.

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