Regions to gain in Commonwealth’s infrastructure spending jolt

Image shows a road in rural NSW.

The Commonwealth Government’s decision this week to hasten $3.8 billion in infrastructure spending will include a range of infrastructure projects in regional Australia such as roads, bridges and railways.

Some $1.8 billion will be spent both this financial year and next year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“Every state and territory benefits, with significant transport projects to be accelerated in all jurisdictions,” Prime Minister Morrison told the Business Council of Australia annual dinner.

Western Australia

WA will receive $940 million in Commonwealth and State infrastructure funding over four years for projects including road widening and new railway stations.

The City of Swan will share in $14m for upgrading the Apple St intersection of the Great Northern Highway in a project the Commonwealth said will create 90 jobs.

Project funding brought forward includes $156.7 m for the Karratha to Tom Price corridor, $82.8 m for the Albany Ring Road and $36.2 m for the Halls Creek to Alice Springs corridor.

South Australia

Some $328m has been earmarked for six projects in SA including $100m for a SA Rural Roads Safety Package, $86m for the Port Augusta to Perth corridor, and $50m for the Horricks Highway corridor.

“By working collaboratively with the Morrison Government we have been able to fast track a number of regional road projects to help build regional communities, improve road safety and help save lives on our country roads,” SA Premier Steven Marshall said.

Northern Territory

The Commonwealths funding includes $40.8m for upgrading the Newman (WA) to Katherine (NT) corridor, and $36.2 m for the Halls Creek to Alice Springs corridor.

NSW

Funding includes $185m for the Toowoomba (QLD) to Seymour (NSW section) Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) package, $200m for upgrades to the Newell Highway, and $145m for the Princes Highway Corridor in NSW.

“The Government recognises the need for these key rural roads to receive the upgrades they need to be safer, more efficient transport corridors as soon as possible,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said.

There’s also $7.9 million for the Davey Road interchange project which the Commonwealth will partner with Albury City Council and the NSW State Government.

Victoria

Some $370 million of the money will be spent in the next 18 months on regional roads including $32.6m for the South Gippsland Highway realignment between Koonwarra and Meeniyan, and $28.7 million for the Echuca-Moama Bridge.

“Upgrading these highways will improve safety and travel times on some of Victoria’s busiest freight and passenger road corridors,” Deputy Prime Minister McCormack said.

QLD

The Commonwealth has allocated $1.9 billion for roads and railways in Queensland for 20 projects including upgrades to the M1, Bruce, Warrego and Cunningham Highways, and the North Coast Rail Line between Beerburrum and Nambour, Prime Minister Morrison said.

There’s also $118.5m for Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative upgrades including the Cooktown to Weipa and Townsville to Roma corridors.