Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced new rail and road projects worth more than $10bn. The infrastructure projects include a $2bn initial investment for a new Melbourne Intermodal Terminal servicing inland rail and a $2.03bn upgrade of the Great Western Highway west of Sydney. SA will receive an upgrade of its Truro Bypass worth $161.6m, while WA receives $160m for Agricultural Supply Chain improvements. In Tasmania, $80m is set aside for highway safety and freight efficiency upgrades, while the NT gets $150m for national highway upgrades. The projects are expected to support thousands of jobs across Australia and help secure Australia’s economic recovery.
However, analysis of the Budget suggests that while there may be a pull-forward of some projects but there’s no actual increase in the federal government’s infrastructure spending over the decade, which remains a fraction of the states’ efforts. In fact the increased net capital investment from 2020/21 to 2024/25 largely reflects a significant investment in defence capital projects