TREASURER Josh Frydenberg’s 2019 federal budget has been welcomed by industry body the Victorian Transport Association.
But across the border, in South Australia, the reaction has been very different, with the South Australian Freight Council saying the state has received the raw prawn.
The VTA endorsed measures in the budget including:
- Infrastructure spending in Victoria worth $6.2bn, aimed at helping to ease congestion;
- $25bn in infrastructure investments nationally over the next decade for road safety and freight connections;
- $2bn for Melbourne-Geelong fast rail, taking cars off roads and freeing up road networks for heavy vehicles;
- $1.14bn for upgrades to suburban roads around Melbourne and regional centres; and
- $700m for upgrades to Waurn Ponds Rail, south west of Geelong.
VTA chief executive Peter Anderson said the investments would be welcomed by the freight and logistics industry.
“Victoria is leading the nation in terms of economic development, population growth and construction so it is deserving of the level of spending and investment contained in the budget so that our infrastructure can keep pace with this growth,” Mr Anderson said.
“As vital as the new measures contained in the budget are to address this, it is just as important that the Commonwealth and Victorian governments work together in a bi-partisan way.”
But over in Adelaide, the South Australian Freight Council released a statement saying transport infrastructure spending was set to “plummet”.
SAFC executive officer Evan Knapp said pre-budget announcements again had not made it into the forward estimates.
“None of the $2.7bn for future North South Corridor works has made it into the forward estimates – not the $1.2bn promised last year, or the additional $1.5bn promised in the past few weeks,” Mr Knapp said.
“Only $48.2m of the promised $220m of Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) funding for the Eyre, Sturt and Goyder Highways is made available. Even under a 10-year funding scenario, we would have expected at least $88m.”
Mr Knapp said a close reading of the budget outlined “the poor infrastructure outcome this budget would deliver for SA over the estimates period, with transport infrastructure funding collapsing from $738.2m this financial year for SA to only $289.5m in 2021/22”.