Budget 2023-24: Strengthening Australia's $120 billion infrastructure pipeline
The 2023-24 Federal Budget delivers real nation building through a genuine review of Australia’s infrastructure investment pipeline, and bold new measures for Australia's cities and suburbs.
Infrastructure Investment Program
A 90-day independent review of the Infrastructure Investment Program will ensure that we are investing in projects that are truly nationally significant – to make sure that freight keeps moving, that people can get home safely from work and that the connections between our cities and our regions are strong.
Under the Liberals and Nationals, the number of infrastructure projects in the pipeline blew out from 150, to almost 800. Projects were left without adequate funding, resources or genuine commitment.
The Albanese Government is keeping the $120 billion rolling 10-year pipeline - and every dollar remains in the budget. But it would be irresponsible to move ahead, without fixing the backlog. This review will allow all levels of government time to consider the projects that are actual priorities, and assess their cost and deliverability in the current climate. The process will help to lay firm foundations to build a more sustainable, credible pipeline of investment.
The review has the support of the states and territories and will be undertaken by Mr Reece Waldock AM, Ms Clare Gardiner-Barnes and Mr Mike Mrdak AO, who all have extensive expertise in land transport infrastructure.
Major Projects Business Case Fund
Additional funding of $200 million will replenish the Major Projects Business Case Fund (MPBCF).
The MPBCF funds the development of major project business cases, to engage early on the next phase of strategically significant projects.
This commitment will help to support the Government’s refreshed approach to funding future major land transport infrastructure projects, through facilitating earlier engagement in the planning stage and ensuring the broader Commonwealth objectives are considered as projects are developed.
National Urban Policy
After decades of inaction, the 2023-24 Budget delivers a bold agenda for urban Australia – ensuring the Australian Government is, once again, a trusted partner in building better cities and suburbs. The Albanese Government will develop a comprehensive National Urban Policy to address urgent challenges facing our major cities – from equitable access to jobs, homes and services, to climate impacts and decarbonisation.
This policy reform will be matched with new programs – Thriving Suburbs and Urban Precincts and Partnerships – ensuring urban communities can partner with the Australian Government to deliver essential community infrastructure and precinct-level development.
- The Thriving Suburbs Program is being funded with $200 million over two years from 2024-25 to provide merit-based and locally driven grants that address shortfalls in priority community infrastructure in urban and suburban communities.
- The $150 million urban Precincts and Partnerships Program will support transformative investment in urban Australia based on the principles of unifying urban places, growing economies and serving communities. This program will fund both the development of precincts through facilitating planning, design and consultation, leading to business cases for investment-ready proposals, as well as a stream to support delivery of larger scale precinct projects.
Together, these programs will deliver best-practice investment in urban infrastructure, connecting people and communities to services and opportunities that improve liveability and inclusion.
The Australian Government will once again listen to experts, convening the Urban Policy Forum to advise the Minister on the latest thinking in innovation, planning, property, design and sustainability.
A new Cities and Suburbs Unit (CSU) will be established to deliver this work, including the State of the Cities reports, which provide an accurate and up-to-date picture of life in our cities. The CSU will also have oversight on National Cabinet urban planning matters to be discussed in Planning Ministers’ Meetings.
We want more Australians to enjoy life closer to home, help decarbonise our cities, and improve both community connections and economic productivity.
The 2023-24 Budget will also:
- Lock in the Albanese Government’s funding contribution for important infrastructure that will be at the heart of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and leave an enduring Games legacy. The Government will invest up to $2.5 billion for the Brisbane Arena development and up to $935 million in contributions for a further 16 new or upgraded venues to be jointly funded in partnership with the Queensland Government.
- Deliver $240 million to support development at Macquarie Point in Hobart. This investment is a broader urban renewal precinct, including construction of affordable housing and Macquarie Point Stadium.
- Match Tasmanian Government funding of $65 million, for upgrades to the UTAS Stadium in Launceston.
National Road Safety
The Albanese Government is committed to Vision Zero – zero deaths and serious injury due to road crashes, by 2050. We want all road users in Australia to get home safely from every journey, no matter the distance travelled. Improving regional and remote road safety are two priorities identified in the National Road Safety Strategy 2021–2030.
This Budget will provide:
- Funding has been allocated to maintain the $110 million-per-year Black Spot Program to work with state, territory and local governments to improve road safety across the nation.
- Allocation of $43.6 million for the new National Road Safety Action Grants Program (NRSAGP) over four years from 2022-23. The NRSAGP provides non-infrastructure grants to help implement the National Road Safety Action Plan 2023–25 with a focus on First Nations road safety, vulnerable road users, community education and awareness, technology, innovation, research and data.
- Also $16.5 million to the Car Safety Ratings Program to improve testing protocols for new light vehicles and provide safety evaluations for used vehicles.
- Continual delivery of road safety improvements through the Road Safety Program, with $976.7 million available across 2023–24 and 2024–25, building on the more than 1,400 projects delivered to date.
The Albanese Government is committed to working with governments and communities to support urban and regional Australia to be more productive, more resilient, and more liveable into the future.