Budget 2017: Students in regional Australia to get study hubs, training scholarships

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 10, 2017

An additional $A 8.4bn will be made available for the Melbourne - Brisbane Inland Rail project, a dedicated high-productivity rail freight corridor that has been many years in the planning.

"We will inject up to $5.3 billion in equity over the next 10 years into this company", he said, indicating works on the 1800 hectare site would start in the second half of next year, with completion in 2026.

"If there are any projects the government thinks should be supported that won't attract private finance and won't otherwise proceed, they should do it through an identifiable and highly visible grant, " he said.

Fairfax Media understands NSW is expected to take up the offer, with the Berejiklian government having signed an memorandum of understanding over the project.

In a vote-sweetner for Victoria, the federal government included a $1 billion package for new and upgraded infrastructure, including $30 million to develop a business case for a rail link to Tullamarine Airport. Allocations to specific states and territories are still to be finalised by the government and stakeholders.

His trepidation came after Scott Morrison's first comments vowed to use "good debt" in the budget to build productivity enhancing infrastructure.

Infrastructure Australia reportedly delivered an unprecedented $60 billion wish-list of 100 national priority projects to the Turnbull government, including the M4 and WestConnex motorways in Sydney, Melbourne's metro rail and M80 ring road, the South Brisbane-Ipswich road network, Perth freight rail and the delivery of the western Sydney airport.

"We applaud the government for this massive investment in the future and economic growth that this will trigger".

According to The Australian, Mr Birrell admitted in a pre-budget infrastructure round table forum that he welcomed the new classification but also said the history of the commonwealth on procurement has generally not been a happy one.

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