Federal Government to invest $35b in freight and transport
THE Abbott Government will set aside $35 billion over six years to help address a rising demand for freight and transport, with a new report tipping aviation demand will jump by 120% by 2030.
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss confirmed the massive injection of infrastructure funding to a Tourism and Transport Forum conference in Canberra this week.
While he has yet to reveal which specific projects the funds will be directed to, he said that "in a time of budget constraint", the size of the commitment reflected "how seriously we take infrastructure investment".
"Our investments and reforms to the supply-side of infrastructure address major challenges to Australia's future prosperity," Mr Truss said.
"We are pursuing both efforts with a close eye to how the competitive pressures on tourism and most other industries are likely to intensify."
The investment also includes the government's election pledge of directing $1 billion to regional projects over five years under its National Stronger Regions Fund.
To underline the demand for freight and transport, Mr Truss released a new Trends report, backed by data from government and industry, including the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.
That report found as Australia's population grows to an expected 30 million by 2030, so to will the freight task, with truck traffic tipped to rise 50% over the next 16 years.
Transport is also expected to boom in Australia's skies, with freight rising up 120% by 2030 and domestic and international passenger movements through the capitals expected to double.