Federal Budget 2020-21: Regions
CME also welcomes release of Australia’s first Ministerial Statement on Rural and Regional Budget Outcomes and the following Budget commitments:
- Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility – Proposed investment of $36.9 million over four years (and a further $25.2 million over the two years to 2025-26) to extend the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility’s (NAIF’s) investment window by five years from 30 June 2021 to 30 June 2026, and to provide more flexibility, increase risk appetite and widen the scope of projects eligible for funding.
- Domestic Aviation Network Support program – Underwriting of routes to regional centres such as Kalgoorlie extended until 31 January 2021. Access to flights is vital to the connectivity of these local economies.
- Big Battery – $28.5 million to fund initial investment in a Big Battery project to stabilise and increase capacity in the South West Interconnected System by 100 or 200 MWh, as well as extend WA’s microgrids program.
- Goldfields Highway – $16 million to construct and seal priority sections between Wiluna and Meekatharra.
- Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network – $80 million of funding accelerated across the forward estimates.
- Karratha to Tom Price – $56 million to upgrade the corridor.
- Roads of Strategic Importance – Total of $736.2 million to upgrade Tanami Road (Alice Springs to Halls Creek corridor), Great Northern Highway (Newman to Katherine corridor, Stage 3 Ord River north section and Port Hedland Airport deviation) and Coolgardie-Esperance Highway (Emu Highway).
- Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program – $3.71 million for the Boodarie Strategic Industrial Area and Karratha Industrial Estate.
- Local Jobs Program – $62.8 million over two years to establish a program to coordinate employment and training solutions at a local level in 25 regions across Australia.
- National Suicide Prevention Trial – $12.4 million to extent the trial to sites such as the Kimberley and Mid-West Primary Health Networks.