Record investment in infrastructure and regions to deliver a stronger economy

The Morrison-Joyce Government is investing record amounts in infrastructure and regional development projects through the 2022-23 Budget as part of our plan for a stronger future, to make our nation wealthier and stronger, create tens of thousands of jobs and drive economic growth.

With investments in new and existing infrastructure projects in every state and territory, the Government’s rolling 10-year infrastructure investment pipeline will increase from $110 billion to $120 billion, a new record.

This includes an additional $17.9 billion in new commitments to infrastrucuture projects through the 2022-23 Budget. These new commitments will support around 40,000 jobs over the lives of the projects, with around 120,000 jobs supported by projects underway as part of the Government’s record infrastructure investment pipeline.

As part of our plan for a stronger future, we are delivering nation-building infrastructure projects, securing Australia’s water future, meeting our national freight challenge and getting Australians home sooner and safer.

Energy security and regional development plan

This year’s Budget includes a dedicated regions package, which will broaden and strengthen regional Australia, our economic base, to drive the growth of our economy into the future.

The Government will provide $7.1 billion over 11 years from 2022-23 to turbocharge regional economies including four key regional hubs across Australia, with a focus on building next generation export hubs.

Our investment will create new jobs and opportunities for Australians in the regions, helping them to pursue their dreams.

Investment will be targeted at strategic infrastructure projects that drive economic and jobs growth in existing and emerging industries. Funding will focus on connecting infrastructure and developing supply chains to ensure long-term economic and national security.

The four regions include the Northern Territory, North and Central Queensland, the Pilbara region in

Western Australia and the Hunter region in New South Wales.

This will be complemented by the $2 billion Regional Accelerator Program (the RAP), which will provide regions with ambition and vision, that are primed for growth or that are facing new challenges from structural adjustment with targeted and transformative investment opportunities using existing Commonwealth flagship programs.

To be delivered over the next five years, the RAP recognises that economic growth and transformation extends beyond infrastructure with a focus on further developing regional manufacturing, education, supply chains, export opportunities and defence industry.

Delivering faster and safer rail

Backing in our record national infrastructure investment plan and commitment to our regions, the Government is injecting $3.7 billion to deliver three faster rail projects across three key corridors:

  • $1.6 billion for the Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast rail extension (Beerwah – Maroochydore)
  • $1.1 billion for the Brisbane to the Gold Coast faster rail upgrade (Kuraby – Beenleigh)
  • $1.0 billion for the Sydney to Newcastle faster rail upgrade (Tuggerah – Wyong)

Delivering these projects will reduce congestion and improve travel times along these corridors, opening up employment and social opportunities for millions of Australians while supporting economic growth, creating new corridors of commerce and connecting capital cities to major regional centres.

These commitments build on the Government’s 20-year Faster Rail Plan and our existing $2 billion commitment to faster rail between Melbourne and Geelong.

Driving ahead with Inland Rail

The Government will continue to invest in the nation-building Inland Rail project, supporting jobs and delivering an economic boost in regional towns from Melbourne to Brisbane and beyond.

We will commit $3.1 billion for two new intermodal terminals and connecting infrastructure in Melbourne at Beveridge and Truganina, taking total Australian Government funding to intermodal terminals in Melbourne to $3.6 billion.

These terminals will help remove around 5,500 truck movements per day from metropolitan arterial roads in Melbourne, reducing congestion and emissions across the CBD, and improving safety. These investments will improve supply chain productivity and reliability while unlocking freight efficiencies across the broader national network, including the Inland Rail. They will better connect regional businesses and exporting industries with domestic and international markets, so that our nation can continue to generate the wealth the will make us stronger.

Additional investments to bolster the construction of Inland Rail include:

  • An additional $300.0 million through the Grade Separating Interfaces Program to fund new grade separations in New South Wales along the Inland Rail route; and
  • $150.0 million to fund the construction of complementary infrastructure projects that will unlock the benefits of Inland Rail for regional economies.

Life-saving road safety investment

New funding in this year’s Budget will deliver more road safety projects in regional areas, where the road fatality rate is disproportionately 10 deaths per 100,000 persons compared to two deaths per 100,000 persons in metropolitan areas.

The Government will invest $180.1 million to establish the Regional Australia Level Crossing Safety Program, which includes:

  • $160.0 million for upgrades to level crossings;
  • $6.5 million to deliver a national level crossing safety education and awareness campaign;
  • $5 million to support research into and trials of new level crossing technologies and safety measures; and
  • $2 million for improved data collection and risk assessment for level crossings.

Through this new commitment and our existing initiatives, the Government is investing more than $25 billion over the next four years in road safety projects to reduce deaths on our roads and spare families from the immeasurable impact these tragedies have.

Enhancing freight supply chains

The Government will continue to invest in key freight corridors and infrastructure projects that better connect agricultural and mining regions to ports, airports and other transport hubs, including:

  • $880.0 million in additional funding through the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative to improve road safety, enhance productivity and boost the resilience of our freight network, bringing the Government’s total comittment to $5.8 billion since 2018;
  • $678.0 million to seal another 1,000 kilometres of road and deliver further upgrades along Outback Way; and
  • $385.4 million through the Northern Australia Roads Program Extension for upgrades to major freight corridors across our north.

Local jobs and infrastructure

A further $501.7 million has been committed for the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program, enabling every local council across Australia to deliver priority projects to quickly stimulate local economies. This highly successful program has supported an estimated 9,000 jobs and nearly 7,900 individual projects. This brings the total Commonwealth Government commitment to the LRCI Program to $3 billion.

Connecting communities, accelerating growth and job creation

Building on the ongoing commitment to Western Sydney region and to improve connectivity to the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, the Government is investing up to $77.5 million to develop a Business Case to extend the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport rail line from Bradfield to Glenfield via Leppington. An extension of the rail line will deliver the transport Western Sydney residents need to access jobs and services in the future Bradfield City Centre.

The Government is working closely with all levels of Government to enhance the liveability and sustainability in our cities, while continuing to improve the experiences for people living and working in our rapidly expanding regional centres. To this end, the Government will invest $680.6 million in Queensland through the South East Queensland City Deal. This City Deal will deliver jobs, greater connectivity and more liveable communities throughout the SEQ region.

Work is also progressing on a North West Melbourne City Deal to shape its themes and potential elements with all partners, including how best to leverage the Commonwealth’s significant investments in the region.

Building water infrastructure for a sustainable agricultural future

The Government will continue to deliver the water infrastructure needed to secure Australia’s water future and provide the safe, reliable and affordable water industry, businesses and households need.

Since 2013, the Government has committed $8.9 billion to the National Water Grid Fund, with more than 150 water infrastructure projects. Of the more than 70 construction projects, nine have now been delivered and a further 16 are under construction.

Through the Budget, our additional investment of $6.9 billion through the National Water Grid Fund includes:

  • $5.4 billion for Hells Gates Dam, subject to the completion of the final stage of the business case and regulatory approvals;
  • $600 million for Paradise Dam Improvement; and
  • up to $433 million for Dungowan Dam and Pipeline, subject to the finalisation of the business case and approval processes.

The Government has also locked in $483 million to build Urannah Dam, pending demonstration of value for money and sufficient public benefit for investment.

Through the 2022-23 Budget, the Morrison-Joyce Government is building the infrastructure to make Australia as strong as possible, keeping commuters and freight moving safely and efficiently, and driving the economic growth of our nation.

Media contacts:

Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au

Minister Fletcher – Erin Forster | 0448 207 414 | Erin.Forster@communications.gov.au 

Minister McKenzie – David Edghill | 0477 417 516 | David.Edghill@infrastructure.gov.au