$24 billion infrastructure package revealed in Budget 2018

More details have emerged about what will be in the federal budget, with billions of dollars earmarked for roads and rail over the next decade and a small tax cut hinted from July this year.

There are signs the Government is also likely to announce a budget surplus for 2019-20, which is a year earlier than forecast.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Government wanted to ensure the budget returns to surplus as quickly as possible.

The biggest infrastructure project is the rail link to connect Melbourne’s airport to the city, which was announced earlier this year and will cost $5 billion.

There is also $400 million to shift freight from roads to rail, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said was to “bust congestion”.

The plan would ease traffic congestion around Sydney Airport through the duplication of tracks on the line to Port Botany, seeing thousands of trucks removed from the roads every year and about 150 construction jobs created.

As well as reducing pressure on clogged roads, some of the spending is aimed at reducing the road toll.

Nearly $1 billion will be spent on building a Coffs Harbour bypass on the Pacific Highway.

“That is going to save lives,” Infrastructure Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said.

Mr Turnbull said there would be infrastructure spending right across the nation.

“Nobody has missed out,” he said.

Feds to spend big on Victorian infrastructure

Victoria will score a $7.8 billion infrastructure package in the federal budget, with the money to be poured into roads and rail.

The North East Link road will get $1.75 billion, another $225 million will be allocated to electrify the Frankston rail line to Baxter, while the Turnbull government wants to see $475 million go to a rail link between Monash University’s Caulfield and Clayton campuses.

“I had a call from the Victorian premier this morning to thank me for the announcement, so that is good,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters on Monday.

The airport rail line – subject to a business case due for completion in September and for which the Turnbull government has already committed $5 billion – and the North East Link, were the two items Victoria had put on its federal budget wish list.

The Labor state government has already committed to planning for a tram line from Caulfield, but the federal government wants heavy rail explored too.

Source: ABC, AFR, SBS