#AUSPoli: INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR AUSTRALIA’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY – The Nationals. #AustraliaPolitics

The Hon Michael McCormack MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

Leader of The Nationals

Federal Member for Riverina

 

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure

Federal Member for Aston

 

INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR AUSTRALIA’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY

The Morrison-McCormack Government will continue supporting job-creating, economy-boosting infrastructure, as part of our Economic Recovery Plan for Australia, rebuilding our economy to secure Australia’s future.

The Government’s record $110 billion transport infrastructure program and $3.5 billion rolling water infrastructure fund will support local jobs and businesses at the time it is needed most.

These investments will deliver on our economic plan for a stronger and more resilient Australia, boosting the economy, providing water security for regional and rural Australia, meeting our national freight challenge and getting Australians home sooner and safer.

This includes new and additional funding in the 2020-21 Budget for projects and initiatives, supporting over 30,000 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the projects, to get Australia back to work and back in business following the pandemic.

Funding is being delivered to critical transport infrastructure projects in every state and territory, including:

  • an additional $490.6 million for the Coffs Harbour Bypass in New South Wales;
  • $528 million for upgrades to the Shepparton and Warrnambool rail lines in Victoria;
  • $750 million for Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector in Queensland;
  • an additional $80.0 million for the Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network in Western Australia;
  • $136 million to progress the Main South Road Duplication in South Australia;
  • $65 million for the Tasman Bridge Upgrade in Tasmania;
  •  $46.6 million for National Network Highway Upgrades in the Northern Territory; and
  • $87.5 million for the Molonglo River Bridge in the Australian Capital Territory.   

 

MAJOR INVESTMENTS  

This Government is driving the delivery of major infrastructure projects as we map the economic road back from the pandemic, building the economy and providing certainty for business over the long term.

We remain committed to the ongoing delivery of a record, $110 billion 10 year infrastructure investment program.

Our significant investment will support Australia’s recovery, with projects currently under construction expected to support over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the projects, at a time we need it most.

This Budget provides the framework to deliver even greater benefits from these nation-defining investments.

We are building on our long-term commitment of $10 billion on the Bruce Highway in Queensland and we are also looking to the future with $20 million towards the Bruce Highway Upgrade Strategy to develop future investment priorities on this key Queensland corridor.

We are continuing to ensure that our regional highways are efficient through a commitment of $560 million for the Singleton Bypass on the New England Highway in New South Wales, $100 million for access upgrades to the Strzelecki Track in South Australia, $16 million each for upgrades to the Goldfields Highway and the Broome-Cape Leveque Road in Western Australia and $120 million for upgrades to the Carpentaria Highway in the Northern Territory.

Our infrastructure pipeline isn’t just driving road investment, our commitment to substantial rail investment is full steam ahead, unlocking the economic potential of our regions.

We are investing in the transformational Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project, delivering enhancements across the original program to connect regional Australia to cities and markets and establish a corridor-of-commerce for generations to come.

We are supporting regional Victoria by improving connections between people, jobs and services. We are investing a further $208 million in Stage 2 of the Warrnambool Rail Line Upgrade and $320 million towards Stage 3 of the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade, improving the ride quality, reliability and resilience of the line for passenger and freight rail services. This builds on our existing $2.7 billion commitment to regional rail in Victoria and our $2 billion commitment to progress faster rail from Melbourne to Geelong.

In addition to building Sydney’s second international airport (Western Sydney Nancy Bird Walton International) and delivering the long-overdue Melbourne Airport Rail Link, we recently committed an additional $1.8 billion to build the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project.

This commitment will ensure Western Sydney’s growing population and economy have a world class, fit-for-purpose integrated transport network with construction commencing later this year.

 

ROAD SAFETY PROGRAM  

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and all levels of Government have a key role to play in delivering safer roads and vehicles. The next National Road Safety Strategy 2021 – 2030 will be a once-in-a-decade opportunity to positively direct road safety outcomes.

Road crashes are estimated to cost the national economy around $30 billion a year but the even greater cost is the immeasurable suffering of families affected by road deaths.

This is why we have committed an additional $2 billion for road safety which will support upgrades including the installation of wire rope safety barriers that can reduce accidents caused by running off the road or swerving into the wrong lane and rumble strips to alert drivers and riders that they are moving out of their lane.

This additional investment builds on the $500 million we are already delivering for targeted road safety works.   To monitor and evaluate our progress in this area, the Morrison-McCormack Government is also investing $5.5 million to establish a National Road Safety Data Hub.

The Data Hub will establish the first nationally available road safety data collection to assess the effectiveness of road safety efforts by all Australian governments as we move towards the nationally agreed target of zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.

 

LOCAL PRIORITIES, LOCAL JOBS AND LOCAL BUSINESS  

The pandemic has hit Australia everywhere and every region needs support.

Local councils understand the immediate needs in their communities. Our community-led recovery plan empowers local governments nation-wide to deliver roads and community infrastructure. This will build shovel-ready local priorities, supporting local jobs and local business.

The Government is focused on delivering priorities for local areas as part of Australia’s road to recovery. Our investments will draw on local businesses to stimulate local economies through an additional $1 billion for local governments for the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

This builds on the initial $500 million announced in May 2020.   This investment, together with the new Road Safety Program will support around 10,000 jobs over the life of the projects.

 

BUILDING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY  

The Government is building on its existing investment in water infrastructure projects with an additional $2 billion in funding for projects through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

This more than doubles the fund to a total of $3.5 billion.

The additional funding will deliver increased water security, build resilience in our regions, deliver jobs and grow our critical agriculture sector.   The fund will become a 10 year rolling program of priority water infrastructure investments, demonstrating our commitment to supporting and investing in Australia’s regional economies over the long term.

This will help increase water security in areas where extensive irrigated agriculture already exists, while also helping unlock new agricultural regions, especially in Australia’s north.

This long-term focus will help identify and build the dams, weirs, pipelines, water recycling plants and other projects that will deliver the National Water Grid – a series of region-specific systems that will help secure reliable supplies of water for rural and regional Australia now and into the future.

The Government will continue to work closely with state and territory government partners, informed by a strong scientific evidence base, to identify, plan and invest in water infrastructure projects across the country that will deliver the next generation of water infrastructure through the National Water Grid.  

 

DRIVING RECOVERY IN OUR CITIES  

The Government’s ongoing commitment to the delivery of City Deals in Townsville, Darwin, Western Sydney, Hobart, Launceston, Geelong and Adelaide will help drive recovery in our cities and make them better places to live.

The Government will provide $327.5 million to support projects under the new Perth City Deal that will focus on reactivating and revitalising the Perth CBD so that more people can live, work, learn and play in the city centre.

The new deal will guarantee a collaborative approach and a shared vision with Federal, State and Local Governments working together. The Perth City Deal is expected to deliver almost 10,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

 

BACKING OUR REGIONS THROUGH CONTINUED INVESTMENT  

The 2020–21 Budget continues to build a strong regional Australia and includes a number of measures that respond to the unique way regions have been affected by the events of 2020.

This Budget ensures regions which are seeing strong population growth have the services and jobs they need, that regions in transition are supported to adapt to new circumstances and build resilience and investments for all communities to make sure they continue to be great places to work and live.

Funding will flow directly to support stronger, more resilient regions through the following initiatives:

  • An additional $200 million in grants to extend the successful Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) for a fifth round, including:·
    • $100 million available across regional Australia for community priorities;·
    • $100 million dedicated for tourism-related infrastructure.
  • $100 million to fund Regional Recovery Partnerships, which will coordinate investments in ten regions with other levels of government to support recovery and growth
  • An additional $30.3 million for the Regional Connectivity Program to support telecommunications projects developed by local communities and providers to benefit regions.
  • $41.0 million for a Research and Development Program to continue the Government’s regional decentralisation agenda, by funding research and development activities that will benefit regional industries.
  • An additional $28.1 million 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.
  • We will also invest $5.7 million in a new Building Strong, Resilient Regional Leaders initiative; $5 million for the Regional Australia Institute’s research program and promotion of regional living.

 

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