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Federal Budget 2017
This week's Federal Budget has announced it would spend $75 billion on infrastructure and financing from 2017-18 to 2026-27 for air, road, and rail projects. Federal infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester has described it as a transformational next step in the government's efforts to improve productivity, and liveability in both the cities and regions.

$10 billion over the next decade will be spent on the National Rail Program, as well as an additional $8.4 billion in equity for the Inland Rail Project. "Inland Rail will provide a high capacity freight link between Melbourne and Brisbane, which will strengthen our freight connections ensuring we are able to take advantage of emerging domestic and global markets,” Mr Chester said. It will also ease congestion by taking thousands of trucks off the roads.

Another major project is the commitment to the delivery of an operational Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek by 2026. The government is to establish a new government owned company charged with ensuring the airport is ready by that time. The company, to be established during the 2017-18 financial year, is to issue tenders for early works before the end of the calendar year.

The government is to provide additional funding of $12 million over four years to Infrastructure Australia for its future work program and is to provide an additional $1 2million over five years, to continue to improve aviation safety and education.

The government has also announced money for the $75 million Port Botany Rail Line Upgrade with $20 million in 2017-18.

The government has said it is still prepared to support the controversial East-West Link in Victoria, a project cancelled by the incoming state government almost three years ago.

Mr Chester said these projects would lift national productivity and drive economic growth. “We will increase the efficiency and safety of our land transport infrastructure while strengthening the Australian economy through better connections for Australian businesses and industries transporting products to domestic and international markets,” the Minister said, following Treasurer Scott Morrison’s speech to parliament earlier this week.