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The Federal Government has pledged $17.9 billion towards new and existing projects in the infrastructure pipeline in this week’s Budget.
With investments in every state and territory, the Government’s rolling 10-year infrastructure pipeline will increase from $110 billion to over $120 billion, a new record.
Key new commitments funded in the 2022–23 Budget include:
$3.1 billion in new commitments to deliver the $3.6 billion Melbourne Intermodal Terminal Package, including:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government’s record infrastructure investment was keeping Australians moving and supporting thousands of local jobs across the country.
“Continuing to provide record future funding for road and rail projects is a key part of our economic plan for the long term to keep our economy strong,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the Government was building the infrastructure that will make the nation and economy stronger.
“Getting more commodities to ports and sending them overseas will generate more export income, making our nation wealthier and stronger. Better roads and infrastructure will enable that,” he said.
Australasian Railway Association chief executive Caroline Wilkie said the investment in faster rail networks would improve the speed, frequency and reliability of services, as recommended in the ARA’s Faster Rail Report.
“Highways in and out of our cities are only getting busier, which means we must invest in faster rail to support the east coast’s sustainable development,” she said.
“Faster rail will enable rail travel times on regional rail lines to better compete with road, making it a more desirable and sustainable travel option.
“This will help avoid traffic gridlock and reduce transport-related emissions as populations rise.
“At a time when petrol prices are at record levels, this investment in faster rail will support regional economies and be good news for the many people thinking about a move from the city after the pandemic.”
The ARA also welcomed the allocation for a rail extension from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast (Beerwah to Maroochydore).
Wilkie said the extension would strengthen public transport connections between Brisbane and this key regional centre.
This article first appeared on www.railexpress.com.au
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