$7 Billion Cash Injection for Australian Road and Rail Projects

By AAP
October 4, 2020 Updated: October 5, 2020

Road and rail projects worth more than $7 billion are being fast-tracked to get the Australian economy moving again.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says the shovel-ready projects will speed up supply chains and create thousands of jobs.

Many projects are already in the planning stage and some are backed by funding commitments from state and territory governments.

“We want to ensure our farmers and miners and other businesses can get their world-class goods to market faster and cheaper,” McCormack told AAP on Oct. 5.

“That will happen with better roads and better rail, which is why we’re continuing to invest in making our transport corridors more efficient with further investment in infrastructure in this budget.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the cash injection would lay the foundations for an infrastructure-led recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have been working closely with state and territory governments to invest in the infrastructure that is ready to go and can help rebuild our economy and create more jobs,” he said.

Personal income tax cuts will also be brought forward in Tuesday’s federal budget in an attempt to boost consumer spending.

The budget is expected to outline an eye-watering budget deficit of more than $210 billion and national debt above $1 trillion.

“The numbers will be bad, objectively, but we know why we’re here,” Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told ABC radio.

“We were hit by an unexpected coronavirus pandemic, which has had a very severe impact on our economy.”

The budget is not expected to contain an instant cash injection for the ailing aged care sector.

But it will include an initiative designed to give older Australians greater housing security.

Families who build a granny flat for an elderly relative will be spared from capital gains tax if they formalise the living arrangement.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said waiving the tax would better protect seniors and save money for mum and dad investors.

The change is due to kick in on July 1 next year, subject to the passage of legislation.

KEY INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS:

* $750 million for stage one of Coomera Connector (Coomera to Nerang) in Queensland

* $560 million for Singleton bypass on New England Highway in NSW

* $528 million for Shepparton and Warrnambool rail line upgrades in Victoria

* $200 million for Hahndorf Township upgrades in South Australia

* $150 million for Midway Point and Sorell causeways in Tasmania

* $120 million to upgrade Carpentaria Highway in Northern Territory

* $88 million for Reid Highway interchange with West Swan Road in Western Australia

* $88 million for the Molonglo River bridge in the ACT.

By Daniel McCulloch, Colin Brinsden