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Australian budget sets out AU$7.5bn transport boost

6 Oct 20 A total of AU$7.5bn (£4.2bn) of new investment in transport infrastructure has been announced in the latest Australian budget.

The Singleton Bypass will receive AU$560m
The Singleton Bypass will receive AU$560m

The extra funding is intended to boost the national economy, deliver safer roads and create thousands of jobs as part of the federal coalition’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan.

The funding set out today (6th October) in the budget builds on a series of infrastructure investments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These now total more than AU$11.3bn.

Key investments in the latest announcement include:

  • AU$560m for the Singleton Bypass on the New England Highway in New South Wales;
  • AU$528m for the Shepparton and Warrnambool Rail Line Upgrades in Victoria;
  • AU$750m for Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector (Coomera to Nerang) in Queensland;
  • AU$88m for the Reid Highway Interchange with West Swan Road in Western Australia;
  • AU$200m for the Hahndorf Township Improvements & Access Upgrade in South Australia;
  • AU$150m for the Midway Point Causeway (including McGees Bridge) and Sorell Causeway as part of the Hobart to Sorell Roads of Strategic Importance corridor in Tasmania;
  • AU$120m to upgrade the Carpentaria Highway in the Northern Territory; and
  • AU$88m for the Molonglo River Bridge in the ACT.

Prime minister Scott Morrison said: “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. These projects will keep commuters safe on the road, get people home to their loved ones sooner and provide better transport links for urban and regional communities.

“As part of the Covid-19 economic recovery plan we have invested an additional AU$11.3 billion focused on shovel-ready projects across the country. This investment through Tuesday’s 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.”

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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," he 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,” he 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.”

Minister for population, cities and urban infrastructure Alan 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 10 years,” he said.

“We will continue to invest in the key priority projects which help drive the economy and create jobs across our states and territories.”

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