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Building the North with almost $7 billion in major infrastructure funding

10 May 2017

THE 2017 Budget has confirmed the Coalition Government will provide almost $7 billion for major infrastructure projects in Northern Australia.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said today major spending plans for infrastructure would benefit communities across the top half of the country in coming years.

“This is a year to continue our delivery on the agenda to develop the North,” Minister Canavan said. “Major funding is planned for infrastructure-related projects that will not only boost employment and economic activity in Northern Australia but also strengthen the national economy. Developing Northern Australia is good for the whole nation.

“This funding includes $5 billion in concessional loans from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, $600 million from the Northern Australia Roads Programme, $200 million in defence capability in the Northern Territory, $170 million for water-related projects,  $147 million for the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor and $100 million for the Beef Roads Programme.”

Minister Canavan said he wanted to see more jobs created for families in Northern Australia.

“Northern communities will see sizeable funds provided by the Coalition Government in the coming 2017-18 financial year,” he said. “In turn, this money will provide jobs in cities and towns across the North.”

Minister Canavan said, since its establishment in July last year, the Cairns-based Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) had begun the rigorous work of assessing applications for concessional loans, and he expected announcements on successful projects in coming months.

“Of the $600 million budgeted for the Northern Australia Roads Programme, $188 million will be provided in 2017–18. Of the $100 million for the Beef Roads Programme, $45 million will be provided in 2017–18 across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

“We’re also delivering the Townsville City Deal, including $100 million to help fund the new rugby league stadium and $147 million for the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor.

“This is an eight-kilometre rail freight line that will connect the North Coast Line directly into the Port of Townsville, and it’s important to the economic growth of Townsville, local jobs and the export capabilities of our country.

“The Government has committed funding of $307 million for water infrastructure projects across Australia and over half – $170 million – has been allocated to Northern Australia.

“This includes $130 million to fund half of Rookwood Weir on the Fitzroy River near Rockhampton, and a further $40 million for feasibility studies covering two projects in the Northern Territory, five in Western Australia and 10 in Queensland.

“There is an additional $193 million available for states that submit quality applications for nation-building water infrastructure projects.

“Of course, across Government, there are further large investments in Northern Australia. For example, we are jointly investing with the Queensland Government $2 billion in funding for the Reef 2050 Plan over the next decade to look after the health of the Great Barrier Reef – plus a further $1 billion injection for GBR-related projects from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation – and much of the Government’s investment in Indigenous programs also goes to Northern Australia.

“The Coalition is getting on with the job of developing Northern Australia and I am passionate about boosting jobs and economic development in communities across the North,” Minister Canavan said.

Media contacts: Senator Canavan's office 02 6277 7180


Planned infrastructure Infrastructure-related funding for Northern Australia includes:

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility $5 billion
Northern Australia Roads Programme $600 million
Cape York Region Road Package $208 million
Acquisition and sustainment of defence capability in the NT $200 million
NT-specific roads projects $187 million
Water-related projects $170 million
Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor $147 million
Beef Roads Programme $100 million
Exploring for the Future Geoscience data program $100 million
Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia $75 million
Regional jobs packages (Cairns & Bowen Basin) $50 million
Upgrade of Cairns marine precinct $24 million