Victoria, after long being short-changed in previous budgets, this time received the lion’s share of $7.5b.
With the New South Wales budget allocation of $14.4b for public transport and infrastructure, about $10b of that going to rail, when Victoria’s more than $500 million committed to rail and tram projects and Queensland’s $250m for rail-related projects is added to the mix, the industry has never looked healthier.
While the sums involved sounds large they only represent a catch-up after years of neglect of rail by successive state and federal governments.
Let us hope that Canberra’s largesse is not just a once-off because of a federal election looming and that the pipeline of investment in infrastructure, and rail in particular, continues going forward. Australia needs to maintain and increase its investment in its infrastructure if we are to keep up with our neighbours in the fast-growing Pacific Basin.
– TONY DUBOUDIN