AusRAIL, Market Sectors

$19bn infrastructure spend tipped for tonight’s budget

<p>Australian infrastructure projects are tipped to receive an estimated $19bn in the federal Budget tonight (Tuesday, May 8), via AusLink II.</p> <p>Some transport industry sources are confident of an even bigger bonanza.</p> <p>This year’s spending has been well telegraphed as senior ministers have indicated previously where funds will go.</p> <p>There are no surprises in the Budget eve media tips:</p> <p>&#8226 The land transport funding package, for use between 2009 and 2014, includes $300m for port access, the <em>Australian Financial Review</em> reports</p> <p>&#8226 The long-mooted inland rail line between Melbourne and Brisbane will receive $120m of funding, the <em> Australian</em> reported yesterday</p> <p>&#8226 An Industry Statement aimed at helping small-to-medium exporters is tipped to receive $1.4bn, the <em>AFR </em> reports and</p> <p>&#8226 Solar energy will get a funding boost, the ABC reports.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Western Australia today demanded its share of the federal railway funding that it claimed was being splashed generously around on the eastern seaboard.</p> <p>State planning and iInfrastructure minister Alannah MacTiernan said that WA’s freight rail network faced serious decline as a result of a previous government’s bungled privatisation of the network.</p> <p> &#8220Because the sale was so badly structured and due to endemic problems with road and rail pricing, about a third of the network is now facing closure, unless $800m is found to upgrade infrastructure,&#8221 Ms MacTiernan said.</p> <p> &#8220WA has put its case for assistance to the Federal Government.</p> <p> &#8220We produce half the nation’s grain exports, with 80% of our grain exported and 60% of this getting to port by rail. </p> <p> &#8220The impending collapse of our rail network will have a devastating effect on many rural communities, as well as damaging the national economy to which the grain industry contributes an estimated $5.5bn.&#8221 </p> <p>Ms MacTiernan said said that in addition to failing infrastructure, the rail industry faced unfair competition from road freight.</p> <p>&#8220In the last few months, the Federal Government has committed $78m to the Tasmanian rail sector and $120m to plan a new rail corridor from Melbourne to Brisbane,&#8221 she said. </p> <p> &#8220Given the size of our contribution to the national economy, we have every right to expect a similar consideration by the Federal Government.&#8221 </p> <br />