Engineering, Passenger Rail

Rail spending to pull Australia out of infrastructure slump

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia boss Brendan Lyon says transport will be crucial to helping Australia’s infrastructure sector survive historic lows in mining investment.

Lyon this week said the latest industry figures showed strengthening public infrastructure investment in transport and utilities.

“The latest figures indicate that Australia may be reaching the bottom of the slump in infrastructure investment, as large increases in transport infrastructure lift overall activity,” he said on March 27.

Infrastructure construction is forecast to fall by $13.4 billion this financial year.

WA and Queensland are set to get the “rough end of the pineapple,” Lyon said, with mining activity slowing in those states.

Meanwhile, large investments in Victorian and NSW transport projects will help improve the national infrastructure market, he said.

“Transport infrastructure will improve by around $3 billion this year,” Lyon said, “but this is effectively all in NSW and Victoria.

“These figures show the highest-ever level of rail investment, led by Victoria’s level crossings and ongoing transport infrastructure investment in New South Wales.

“Essentially all the new transport and rail work is concentrated in Victoria and New South Wales, because those states have leased assets to fund new infrastructure.”