Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Federal Budget misses the bus

Federal Budget misses the bus

This year's Federal Budget will include a multi-billion dollar suburban rail package, reports suggest.

"The federal government's contribution to Inland Rail will create more jobs, with seven out of the 13 projects located in NSW", Mr Barilaro said.

Agreed Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO, Peter Anderson, who said the significant investments in inland rail between Melbourne and Brisbane was critical for further diversifying the national freight task and easing pressure on transportation networks.

"Projects such as Adelink, Brisbane Metro, Tullamarine Rail link, Cross River Rail in Brisbane and the Western Sydney Airport rail link, all have the potential to be supported through (the $10 billion National Rail Program), subject to a proven business case", the Treasurer said.

The Treasurer did his best to quell concerns that infrastructure spending can sometimes be misguided, outlining plans for a new agency to oversee project financing.

Of AU$760m committed for road infrastructure in Western Australia, the Armadale Road/North Lake Road (Kwinana Freeway) project will receive AU$189.6m, and the Leach Highway (Carrington Street to Stirling Highway) project will receive AU$73.6m.

"Our aspiration remains the same and that is to finish the project as quickly as possible; I don't want to set a strict timeline but at the moment it's about 2024-2025", he said.

The Regional Growth Fund will see $200m in additional funding to increase the government's commitment to the Building Better Regions Fund to nearly $500m and a $272m fund established to drive major transformational projects of more than $10m.

"Construction on this 1700 kilometre project will begin in 2017-18 and will support 16,000 jobs at the peak of construction".

"The Government was re-elected in 2016 with a commitment to continue funding the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity, Roads to Recovery, Black Spot and Bridges Renewal programs beyond 2019-20", ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said.

"A further $500m will deliver upgrades to the regional rail network in Victoria".

He says improving productivity and integrating existing freight supply chains will be a key step during construction and future management of rail infrastructure.

Mr McMillan said companies should look at whether rail or road was the best method to get their produce from Orange to Parkes.

"Whereas rail freight operators are directly charged for access to, and use of, rail infrastructure, with prices that are more cost-reflective and overseen by an independent economic regulator".

Efficient freight paths for the entire Australian grains industry were crucial to support export growth and regional economies.

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