14 May 2014
Sydney Morning Herald
The Abbott government says the 2014-15 federal budget will invest record funds for infrastructure for Western Australia.
Tuesday’s budget includes $611 million to improve access to Perth Airport and $590 million for the Swan Valley Bypass.
The government will also spend $307 million to upgrade the Great Northern Highway, $174 million to widen the North West Coastal Highway and $140.6 million for new interchanges on the Tonkin Highway.
Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said the government was committed to the $1.6 billion Perth Freight Link and would work with the WA government “to involve the private sector” in co-contributing to the project with the two governments.
The federal government has unveiled an $11.6 billion transport infrastructure package for Australia that will take total federal spending to $50 billion by 2019-20.
It says the investment will in turn spur state and private sector investment in roads and rail across the continent and could spur up to $125 billion total investment by 2019-20.
Fairfax Media revealed last week the Abbott government’s plans for an asset recycling fund in the budget, which will be handed $5 billion to encourage states and territories to privatise assets by offering a 15 per cent bonus payment from Canberra.
The money for that fund will be funded by the sale of Medibank Private and by rolling in money from existing Building Australia funds and an Education Investment Fund.
Another $3.7 billion will be used to fast track already announced Coalition projects such as $1.5 billion for stage two of the East West link road in Melbourne and $866million for the Perth Freight link.
Treasurer Joe Hockey has described the infrastructure program as the biggest in Australia’s history.
WA will share also in continued funding for roads maintenance, including $2.5 billion over six years for roads to recovery and $565 million over six years for black spots projects.
Mr Truss said the infrastructure package would deliver better roads which “means less congestion, faster travel times and lower fuel costs”.
“The Abbott Government’s investment in Western Australia will also improve freight transport linkages to key domestic and export markets,” he said.
Courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald