General economic forecast for Australia
Economic growth is anticipated to lift due to an encouraging global environment especially from China and the US. Real GDP is expected to be 2.75% in 2017-18 and 3% thereafter. The 2017-18 budget projects a budget surplus of $7.4 billion to be realised by 2020-21 from the current budget deficit of $29.4 billion.
Other economic indicators include rising government revenues from $444.4 billion to $476.1 billion in 3 years. Net debt, as a percentage of GDP is expected to peak at 19.8% in 2018-19 and fall to 8.5% in 2027-28. Government spending is estimated at $464 billion in 2017-18 and projected to rise to 503.2 billion by 2019-20.
Unemployment is projected to drop from 5.75% to 5.25% by 20-21 and inflation to rise from 2% to 2.5% by 2020-21 as shown in the figure below.
Infrastructure Spending Overview
• The Western Sydney Airport receives a $5.3 billion allocation from 2017-18 for the airport build.
• The National Capital Authority gets additional funding in 2017-18 for maintenance of Commonwealth assets and for strategic investment in improved asset management systems.
• $472 million will be provided over the next 4 years to establish the Regional Growth Fund which constitutes grant funding as well as a $200 million commitment for the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) to support construction of community infrastructure in regional Australia.
• Round 3 of the Strong Communities Programme receives $27.7 million to support small community capital projects of between $5,000-20,000.
• The government establishes the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency with a budget of $17 million over 4 years to assist in identifying, developing and assessing innovative infrastructure financing options.
• $23.5 million is provided for over the next 4 years to expand the capacity of the National Cities Agenda.
• The government commits to develop a Research Infrastructure Investment Plan to assess future research infrastructure projects against emerging government priorities informed by the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap.
Transport Initiatives Overview
• The government proposes to invest in business case development to the tune of $20 million in 2017-18 for projects that would deliver faster rail connections between major cities and regional centres.
• The government commits to provide $11.9 million to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to carry out its functions in transport safety investigative, analysis and research work.
Freight Investments Overview
• The Inland Rail project under ARTC has been provided an allocation of $8.4 billion over 7 years enabling ARTC to seek further debt and PPP partners for the Gowrie to Kagaru (Brisbane) sections of the project.
• The Commonwealth retains its commitment for the $1.2 billion Perth Freight Link which the new WA government has indicated their intention not to construct.
• The government is currently committed through equity and debt financing arrangements in the $370 million equity funding for the Moorebank intermodal freight precinct.
• Continuing commitment to fund the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
• Infrastructure Australia has been provided $11.9 million additional funding to continue to deliver alongside its core functions, an independent inquiry into national freight and supply chain strategy and a study into the potential benefits and impacts of road reform.
• The Melbourne to Brisbane freight rail corridor investment in Inland Rail with ARTC includes a new freight corridor between Brisbane and Perth via Parkers.
Regional Development Overview
• A Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) has been established with a seed funding of 11.3 million in 2017-18 and a total of $ 28.5 million over 4 years.
• Livestock exports global assurance program delivers $8.3 million over 4 years to support the Australia Livestock Exporters’ Council in assessment and assurance of livestock exporters.
• Skilling Australians Fund has been set up with the government providing $1.5 billion over 4 years to support the skilling of Australian workers prioritising apprenticeships including apprenticeships and traineeships in regional and rural areas.
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The list attached here provides a breakdown of all the key infrastructure projects that will be supported through the Commonwealth Budget 2017-18. The list includes continuing programs which have been retained from earlier budget years.
Click here to view the list -> Infrastructure Projects List