Infrastructure budget maintained, let’s not stop there

Nikki Ward

Associate Director, Marketing and Business Development

The Australian government has reconfirmed its commitment to funding infrastructure, but the backlog of infrastructure investment across the country cannot be solved by public spending alone.

The Australian government reconfirms its commitment to funding infrastructure, maintaining its $50 billion infrastructure spend including more than $3.4 billion in urban rail projects across the country. The infrastructure package has a strong focus on rail and is directly linked to the government’s Smart Cities plan which was announced last week.

Darren Munton, Director comments: “The budget has delivered positive news for both the sector and rail in particular compared to the 2014-15 budget.

Major infrastructure projects that have been earmarked to receive funding include the Melbourne Metro $857 million; Sydney Metro project $1.7 billion; Second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek $115 million, $490 million (in 2015-16) for the Forrestfield Airport Link in Western Australia and the Inland rail project between Brisbane and Melbourne $594 million.

Darren continued, “Despite the Federal Government commitment to infrastructure funding we have to recognise that the backlog of infrastructure investment across the country cannot be solved by public spending alone.

“The public purse has limited capacity to pay so private sector participation is essential as part of a balanced portfolio of funding strategies. What we need is a balance of direct funding by State and Federal Governments and private sector participation through PPP’s and asset recycling and initiatives like Future Cities that seeks to find other innovative ways to fund the backlog.”

Turner & Townsend is current working on several major infrastructure projects including Sydney Metro Northwest and the Sydney Light Rail, both publically and privately funded.

Darren says, “Funding is a critical part of infrastructure success. A funding partnership between Federal and State governments and the private sector is key, together with a stable pipeline of projects to ensure the sector can attract international investment.”

Globally, we are working on billions of dollars’ worth of transport infrastructure projects including Qatar Rail in the Middle East and Crossrail and Heathrow Airport in the UK.