The Big Picture: Australia's infrastructure statistics

Media Release


18 October 2013

The latest figures on infrastructure spending and usage in Australia show the important role that infrastructure plays to support Australia's economy and productivity.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss today launched the Australian Infrastructure Statistics Yearbook 2013, which reveals a 10 per cent growth in transport's share of infrastructure expenditure in the decade since 2001-02. This 10-year snapshot has seen huge growth in the movement of freight and people.

“The freight task is enormous, with 208 billion tonne kilometres of freight moved by road and 259 billion tonne kilometres of freight moved by rail. More than 6.6 million shipping containers were moved through the nation's five main container ports, and 100 billion tonne kilometres of freight were moved around the coast,” Mr Truss said.

“But infrastructure also connects people and communities. In 2011-12, 175 billion passenger kilometres were travelled on capital city roads and 12 billion passenger kilometres on urban rail networks.”

The Yearbook also reports on energy, communications and water infrastructure.

Mr Truss said that infrastructure construction has more than doubled over the decade, with much of the growth in private sector-owned projects dominated by mining related investments. Current expenditure has declined from that peak but remains at historically high levels.

The statistics are published by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.

“The work of the Bureau provides economic analysis, research and statistics on infrastructure, transport and regional development to inform government decisions,” Mr Truss said.

Mr Truss released the latest Yearbook at the annual conference of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia in Sydney today.

The BITRE Australian Infrastructure Statistics Yearbook 2013 and accompanying summary booklet Key Australian Infrastructure Statistics are available at