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What the federal budget means for Rail

The Federal Government has released its budget for 2024/25 with funding committed to a range of infrastructure projects across the country.

The Government has provided $9.5 billion over the forward estimates, and $16.5 billion over 10 years, for projects that improve productivity, liveability, and sustainability. All while maintaining focus on ensuring the deliverability of the over $120 billion, ten-year infrastructure investment pipeline.

As part of the Government’s investment in new projects, $158 million is being committed to deliver critical planning for nationally significant projects under the Major Projects Business Case Fund.

New South Wales will receive $20.8 billion over 10 years for its road and rail infrastructure. $20 million in additional funding has been committed for planning to extend the rail line from the Aerotropolis to Macarthur. $1.9 billion has been committed to Western Sydney for road and rail infrastructure.

Queensland will receive $21.6 billion over 10 years with a major commitment to the Sunshine Coast Rail Line which will see $1.15 billion for the project.

The federal budget will see $39.4 million for the relocation of the Loganlea Station to ensure better connectivity for the growing hubs south of Brisbane. These investments to increase accessibility, capacity and reliability of transport networks also help prepare for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Over the next 10 year Victoria will receive $19.2 billion, Tasmania $2.2 billion, South Australia $9.7 billion and the Northern Territory $2.8 billion.

The government has committed $8.9 billion to Western Australia which includes $1.4 billion for METRONET, including a new project and funding for existing projects. $300 million has also been put aside for METRONET to deliver a capacity signalling program in Western Australia.

The ACT will receive $808.6 million over 10 years with $50 million put aside for Stage 2B of Canberra’s Light Rail project.

The government has also committed a large amount of funding to improve the national network. $540 million to improve the reliability of the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s interstate freight rail network, including $150 million to upgrade the Maroona to Portland Line in Victoria has been put aside.

This brings the investment up to $1 billion as it is in addition to ARTC’s own commitment of $500 million via the corporation’s Network Investment Program, which was developed in close collaboration with industry and shareholders.

It will assist ARTC to upgrade major sections of a vast rail network which is vital to moving large volumes of containerised goods and products (including refrigerated food and essential household items) and bulk commodities like grain, minerals, and steel across the country.

Each day, numerous interstate and regional passenger rail services also operate across the breadth of the ARTC network, who will benefit directly from this investment.

These significant funding commitments build on the $150 million already invested in resilience activities by ARTC over the past two years, to upgrade the existing national network.

Pick up the July edition of Rail Express to get a comprehensive wrap up of the Federal Budget including industry opinion.