Return to search

Australia eyes new privatisations, creates A$5bn infra facility

The federal government is also keen to develop urban rail and reform road charges as it builds on its A$50bn transport investment programme.

Australia has announced five reform initiatives as part of its response to the national infrastructure advisor’s 15-year Australian Infrastructure Plan. 

The federal government said it would invest in urban rail in the country’s five largest cities and their regions alongside state governments, continue to reform heavy-vehicle user charges and assess the impact of light-vehicle road pricing on traffic and budgets. 

The government is also seeking innovative financing solutions to allow for greater involvement of the private sector, including the creation of the A$5 billion ($3.72 billion; €3.52 billion) Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and A$500 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund. The former will provide concessional finance to encourage infrastructure investment in the region while the latter is able to offer a mix of financing options to support water projects. 

Also, subject to budget constraints, the government may look to privatise further assets with a view to recycling the capital into new infrastructure, it said. 

Other measures include crafting a national freight and supply chain strategy that will aim to lift productivity, as well as data collection on freight transport and public traffic so as to make better infrastructure investment decisions.
Infrastructure Australia, the advisory body, issued the plan in February this year with 78 recommendations. The federal government has said it supports 69 of them. 

The new initiatives build on the federal government’s A$50 billion infrastructure investment programme, which aims to revamp transport links across the country. The government has committed to fund 14 of the 15 projects on the plan’s priority list, including Inland Rail, WestConnex in New South Wales and the Forrestfield Airport Link in Western Australia. 

It has also allocated A$50 million for early infrastructure planning under the Smart Cities Plan.