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Just 15 per cent of transport infrastructure funding announced by the Morrison government before Tuesday's budget will go to Victoria, the state hardest hit by the pandemic and which has 26 per cent of Australia’s population.
But Canberra argues that over the coming decade Victoria will get almost 30 per cent of the nation’s funding for transport projects – more than its fair share.
Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge on Monday announced $1.1 billion in funding for a range of rail and road construction, many in Victoria's regional areas.
The projects were negotiated in September between the federal and state governments, with Victoria handing Canberra a list of works it says are ready to start construction. The Morrison government agreed to fund $1.1 billion out of this $1.3 billion "wish list".
But funding for these "shovel-ready" Victorian projects announced on Monday was dwarfed by money for projects in New South Wales, which the federal government said would get $2.7 billion.
NSW has 31 per cent of Australia's population and of $7.5 billion funding announced so far, it stands to get 36 per cent of money on offer.
Premier Daniel Andrews would not be drawn on whether he was disappointed Victoria was set to get less funding than NSW, saying the federal budget had not yet been released.
“Let's wait and see what happens when we see the full budget,” Mr Andrews said.
Tuesday's budget could also answer ongoing speculation over the future of Melbourne's airport rail link, which the Morrison government will put at least $5 billion into.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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