PT not in 2015 Budget

Federal Budget has allocated $5.9 billion to roads, but PT gets the cold shoulder

The 2015-16 Federal Budget includes a commitment to fund several urban road and rail projects, but spending has not been specifically targeted to improve public transport.

Treasurer Joe Hockey says the Government’s $50 billion infrastructure commitment will improve road and rail linkages in every state and this will flow on to make public transport more efficient.

It is hoped that improving Australia’s road and rail network will boost Australia’s growth with jobs, improved services, and less congestion on some important urban infrastructure.

Of this $50 billion infrastructure spend; $8.58 billion will be spent on transport and communication, with $5.9 billion allocated to road transport, $1.1 billion to rail, $382 million to sea and $254 million to air transport.

Projects that have been allocated funds include new roads in most states and territories, including bridge upgrades.

The $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will help develop better roads and rail lines in the Northern Territory.

Upgrading major transport corridors like the Bruce Highway and the Pacific Highway should help Australia's long-haul coach industry operate more effectively, once complete.

NatRoad chief executive Warwick Ragg says there is good news for industry in the budget, as measures in the Growing Jobs and Small Business package will benefit those in the bus industry who qualify as small business operators.

The biggest gains will come from an immediate tax deduction for every asset costing less than $20,000 for the next two years, signalling a huge increase from the current threshold of $1,000.

The cut in the corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 28.5 per cent should help and unincorporated small business will benefit from a 5 per cent tax discount, up to $1,000 per year, bringing them in line with discounts offered to incorporated businesses.

The government's $5 billion asset recycling initiative is also propelling state and territory governments to invest billions more into new city-transforming infrastructure projects like the Capital Metro light rail project in the ACT.

The Roads to Recovery scheme will continue to support the construction and maintenance of local roads with $350 million allocated annually, as well an extra $350 million being funded in 2015–16.

Funding for the Black Spot programme has been tripled for the next two years, with an extra $100 million being allocated in 2015–16 and 2016–17 – to accelerate road safety improvements.

The Federal Government has demanded the return of $1.5 billion of unspent funding from the Victorian Government, throwing a spanner in the works for the creation of any new metro rail network, and has pledged $3 billion to the first Victorian Government willing to build the East-West Link.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook