The Abbott government has committed an additional A$11.6 billion for an “infrastructure growth package” that is heavy on roads, but aimed at fast-tracking what it considers critical infrastructure.
The asset recycling initiative will cost A$5 billion over five years in order to encourage the states to sell assets and redirect the funds into infrastructure.
An additional A$3.7 billion will be directed towards road projects, including A$2.9 billion for Sydney’s WestConnex, Melbourne’s East-West Link, Adelaide’s North South Corridor, NT road upgrades, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, and the Perth Freight Link. This funding will also extend to national highway upgrades, black spots, and the Roads to Recovery program.
An additional A$2.9 billion will go to support the Badgerys Creek airport in Western Sydney, part of a larger ten-year A$3.5 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan being delivered with the New South Wales government.
Together, the investment is expected to lead to additional infrastructure investment of A$125 billion, and add around 1 percentage point to GDP.
To find the money for the additional spending, the government will reintroduce the bi-annual indexation of the fuel excise, starting in August this year. Funds for asset recycling will also come from the sale of Medibank Private and the potential sale of the Royal Australian Mint, Defence Housing Australia, Australian Hearing, and the registry services business of ASIC.