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Federal Budget – $7.5 billion for transport infrastructure around the country
The contribution of rail in Australia
Announced ahead of the highly anticipated 2020-21 Federal Budget, transport infrastructure around Australia will receive a $7.5 billion investment to boost the national economy, as part of the Federal Government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
The Government is investing in key transport projects across all states and territories including:
The funding builds on a series of infrastructure investments from the Commonwealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which now total more than $11.3 billion.
Industry discussion over the last few months has focused on the role of the infrastructure industry in the economic recovery from COVID-19.
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said the Federal Budget would deliver funding for infrastructure, which supports the Government’s JobMaker plan.
“We have been working closely with state and territory governments to invest in the infrastructure that is ready to go and can help rebuild our economy and create more jobs,” the Prime Minister said.
“This investment through the Budget will boost the national economy and is part of our plan to support an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect jobs across the nation.”
The 2020-21 Federal Budget includes funding for key transport infrastructure projects across the country. Here is the state-by-state breakdown:
New South Wales
Federal Budget funding: $2.7 billion
Expected jobs created: 8,000 direct and indirect jobs across the state
Total Federal infrastructure funding for COVID-19 recovery: $5 billion+
Key transport infrastructure investments for New South Wales include:
Federal Budget funding: $1.3 billion
Expected jobs created: 5,150 direct and indirect jobs across the state
Total Federal infrastructure funding for COVID-19 recovery: $1.7 billion+
Key investments for Queensland include:
Federal Budget funding: $1.1 billion
Expected jobs created: 3,850 direct and indirect jobs across the state
Total Federal infrastructure funding for COVID-19 recovery: ~$1.6 billion
Key investments for Victoria include:
Work on Stages 2 and 3 of the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Rail Upgrade will also be accelerated with $605 million brought forward into the forward estimates
Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said, “These commitments will help to get the Victorian economy moving when restrictions are eased.”
Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said the Government’s infrastructure package for Victoria would help the state economy claw its way back and provide certainty for business over the long term.
“This Government recognises the pain many Victorians are going through and we know that jobs and economic stimulus through targeted infrastructure are what is needed right now.”
Federal Budget funding: $1.1 billion
Expected jobs created: 6,800 direct and indirect jobs across the state
Total Federal infrastructure funding for COVID-19 recovery: ~$1.3 billion
Key investments for WA include:
Work on Roe Highway/Great Eastern Highway Bypass and Abernethy Road/Great Eastern Highway Bypass Interchanges, and the Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network, will also be accelerated with $82 million brought forward into the forward estimates
The Western Australian Government has welcomed the investment in the projects, which it said would help create thousands of local jobs and improve safety across the state.
The Western Australian Government is already spending $260 million a month on infrastructure, with $100 million of this funding in regional areas.
Regional road safety is a major priority of the State Government, which is why it said it welcomed further funding for the Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network, and other regional road safety projects.
Funding for other major road projects, such as the Roe Highway interchange project, will allow the project scope to expand and to be progressed as soon as possible.
The Western Australian Government has also worked to fast track approvals and cut red tape for an additional eleven major transport infrastructure projects, worth $2.37 billion and estimated to create 13,000 local jobs.
Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “We’ve worked collaboratively with the Commonwealth Government to identify projects that will create and support local jobs while also improving safety and capacity across our road and rail networks.
“We already have a pipeline of $6.5 billion of major road and rail works underway across Western Australia over the next two years – this will extend the pipeline of work and will continue to help the state economy through and past COVID-19.
“This year alone, we have seven METRONET projects under construction with several more moving into the procurement phase, creating thousands of local jobs, as well as major road projects underway such as the $175 million Albany Ring Road.
“We’re building the transport infrastructure needed for tomorrow – no matter where you visit in WA you will see hard hats on the ground and infrastructure works underway.”
Federal Budget funding: $625 million
Expected jobs created: 2,600 direct and indirect jobs across the state
Total Federal infrastructure funding for COVID-19 recovery: $785 million+
Key transport infrastructure investments for South Australia include:
Federal Budget funding: $360 million
Expected jobs created: 2,200
Total Federal infrastructure funding for COVID-19 recovery: $410 million+
Key transport infrastructure investments for Tasmania include:
The Tasmanian State Government welcomed the funding announcement, stating that the duplication of the Sorell Causeway will ‘complete the set’ for the state’s South East Traffic Solution, making huge improvements to the lives of commuters from the growing areas of Sorell and the Southern Beaches in terms of travel times, safety and amenity.
This funding builds on the $162.5 million already committed, including the Hobart Airport Interchange, the Midway Point intersection upgrade, the duplication from the airport to the western causeway, the Sorell southern bypass and the Arthur Highway overtaking lane (already completed).
There is a heavy reliance on motor vehicles for transport in the Sorell region, and this massive package of projects being undertaken in partnership between the State and Federal Governments will also be of significant benefit to the productivity of the freight industry and enhance the tourist experience for those travelling to areas such as the East Coast and Tasman Peninsula.
This investment complements the Tasmanian Government’s two-year, $1.8 billion job-creating infrastructure investment program across the state, which has an estimated construction value of $3.1 billion and is expected to support 15,000 jobs.
The upgrade of the Tasman Bridge is set to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety and provide upgrades to support future traffic growth.
The funding package also includes upgrades to the Bass Highway between Deloraine and Devonport as part of a $200 million package of works for the Bass Highway, and $52 million for ongoing safety upgrades to the Midland Highway as part of Tasmania’s ten Year Action Plan.
Federal Budget funding: $190 million
Expected jobs created: 1,050 direct and indirect jobs across the territory
Total Federal infrastructure funding for COVID-19 recovery: $240 million+
Key investments for the Northern Territory include:
Australian Capital Territory
Federal Budget funding: $155 million
Expected jobs created: 400 direct and indirect jobs across the state
Total Federal funding for COVID-19 recovery: $180 million+
Key transport infrastructure investments for the ACT include:
Infrastructure funding’s role in COVID economic recovery
Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said the Government is focused on creating jobs and rebuilding our economy.
“Infrastructure helps to create jobs and to get people where they want to go sooner and safer,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“These commitments will help to get the economy moving.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Government is focused on delivering priorities and boosting local jobs as part of Australia’s road to recovery.
“We will draw on local businesses to stimulate local economies through these projects,” Mr McCormack said.
“Infrastructure means jobs, it means livelihoods, it means stronger local communities and it means building a better and more secure future for our nation.”
Mr Tudge said the Government was driving the delivery of major infrastructure projects to map the economic road back from the pandemic, building the economy and providing certainty for business over the long term.
“These new investments lock in billions across our infrastructure pipeline over ten years,” Mr Tudge said.
“We will continue to invest in the key priority projects which help drive the economy and create jobs across our states and territories.”
Other Budget announcements
100,000 new apprenticeship positions unlocked
The Federal Government will also invest an additional $1.2 billion to support Australian businesses to employ 100,000 new apprentices or trainees as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
From 5 October 2020, businesses who take on a new Australian apprentice will be eligible for a 50 per cent wage subsidy, regardless of geographic location, occupation, industry or business size.
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said apprenticeships are an important pathway to get young people into jobs and to ensure there is a skills pipeline to meet the future needs of employers.
“During this pandemic the Federal Government has been focused on supporting and creating jobs as well as identifying the skills we need in the economic rebuild,” the Prime Minister said.
“Already 760,000 jobs that were either lost or reduced to zero hours as the COVID crisis hit, have come back into our economy.
“We want to continue to recover what has been lost and get young people into work.
“Whether it’s the manufacturing, housing and construction, arts or mining sectors – this new wage subsidy gives businesses certainty to hire and provides a career path to aspiring, young tradies.”
The subsidy will be available to employers of any size or industry, Australia-wide who engage an Australian apprentice or trainee from 5 October 2020 until the 100,000 cap is reached.
Under the new measure, employers will be eligible for 50 per cent of the wages for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for the period up to 30 September 2021, up to $7,000 per quarter.
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the measure builds on the existing $2.8 billion Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy that is helping employers to retain their apprentices and trainees.
“The Australian Government has already invested significantly to ensure that apprentices are retained where possible and supported to re-engage if they lose their job,” Ms Cash said.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP, said the new measures will build on the already significant investment to support apprentices and trainees.
“Through the existing Supporting Apprentices and Trainees measure, as many as 90,000 businesses employing around 180,000 apprentices throughout Australia will continue to be supported,” Mr Irons said.
For more information on the apprenticeship measure, click here.
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