Member for Barker Tony Pasin has welcomed key infrastructure initiatives in the 2018 Budget.

The Coalition Government is delivering a record $75 billion investment in infrastructure and transport projects focused on building local communities, connecting the regions and our cities, busting congestion, boosting productivity, and creating local jobs.

This Budget includes $24.5 billion in funding for new major projects and initiatives that will benefit every state and territory.

“Investing in our infrastructure is investing in jobs. Not only is infrastructure investment improving safety and productivity but it’s also great news for our local construction and engineering firms by opening new doors and creating more jobs,” said Mr Pasin.

Mr Pasin welcomed a long term infrastructure strategy, noting that for the first time, the Government has committed to a 10 year infrastructure investment pipeline.

“This long-term pipeline recognises that major infrastructure projects take many years to plan, design and deliver. It shows that this Government will deliver the infrastructure our nation needs into the future, not just into the next election election cycle,” Mr Pasin said.

Over the next 10 years the Government will invest over $75 billion in new and upgraded transport infrastructure projects across the nation, building on the current investment to improve our road and freight networks. The Australian Government will lead on the development and delivery of these projects in partnership with state and territory governments.

The Investment Pipeline includes new initiatives ‘Roads of Strategic Importance’ and the ‘Major Project Business Case Fund’.

$3.5 billion over the next 10 years is included for the ‘Roads of Strategic Importance’ initiative to see the upgrade of key freight corridors in regional Australia and increase productivity by connecting our major agricultural and resource areas with our cities and ports.

“This is great news for our regional producers. Investing in regional road infrastructure makes it safer and more efficient to get produce of the farm and into the market,” Mr Pasin said.

While it is important that the Pipeline demonstrates the plan for the next 10 years, it is also essential that there is support to plan for the next phase of Government investment.

The 2018-19 Budget includes $250 million in funding for the Government to work with State and Territory Governments to secure our infrastructure future, through a Major Project Business Case Fund.

The funding allocated will be used to develop business cases for major projects which will commence construction as the current first round of Pipeline projects conclude.

“It’s vital that our regions remain viable into the future and that includes a plan or the future of our infrastructure. Globelink is a great example of a project that could benefit from this fund. Getting trucks off our congested roads and being more efficient in getting our regional produce to where it needs to go is a great initiative but it needs to be planned properly. That’s what this fund is all about, planning for the future,” Mr Pasin said.

In addition to the new initiative the 2018-19 Budget includes;

  • $237 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (2018-19 to 2021-22)
  • $345 million for the Bridges Renewal Program (2018-19 to 2021-22)
  • $275 million for the Black Spot Program (2018-19 to 2021-22)
  • Continuation of the Roads to Recovery Program ($50 million per annum until 2021-22)
  • $2.46 billion in Financial Assistance Grants to local councils (2018-19)

In addition to road infrastructure funding the 2018-19 Budget also includes an extension of the Coalition Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, commitment an additional $200 million for a third round of the program. Of this $200 million the Government has earmarked $45 million for Tourism-related infrastructure projects in our regions.

The Stronger Communities Program has also been extended with a further $22.5 million in the 2018-19 Budget for a fourth round.

“Both the Building Better Regions Fund and the Stronger Communities Program have both been so successful in Barker, its great news that we can deliver further rounds of these grant programs,” Mr Pasin said.

“Continued investment in regional infrastructure projects create jobs, drive economic growth, and build stronger regional communities into the future,” Mr Pasin said.