Infrastructure expenditure

Budget Review 2014–15 Index

Rob Dossor

The Treasurer announced in his Budget Speech ‘a package of measures that will significantly increase investment in infrastructure across Australia’.[1] The infrastructure expenditure in the Budget for the years 2014–15 to 2017–18 totals $28.5 billion. [2] The Budget also estimates that actual expenditure on infrastructure in 2013–14 will total $6.9 billion, almost $2 billion more than what is allocated in the 2013‑14 Budget ($5.0 billion).[3] New infrastructure expenditure increases so that in 2016–17, the last year of the 2013–14 Budget forward estimates, an additional $5.1 billion has been allocated. This expenditure is shown in the chart and table below.

Infrastructure spending 2007–08 to 2017–18

Estimated Actual
2013–14 Budget(a)
2014–15 Budget(b)
$ million

(a) actual budget allocation for 2013–14, forward estimates for 2014-15 to 2016–17.
(b) actual budget allocation for 2014–15, forward estimates for 2015-16 to 2016–17.

Infrastructure spending

Infrastructure Spending 


Source: Parliamentary Library analysis of: Australian Government, Federal Financial Relations: budget paper no. 3: 2014–15 and previous years.

State shares

State shares 


Source: Australian Government, Federal Financial Relations: budget paper no. 3: 2014–15, pp. 60–9.

The chart above illustrates the infrastructure spending share for each state and territory. New South Wales receives the largest share at 35.5 per cent (an increase of 7.5 percentage points from the 2013–14 Budget). Queensland follows as a distant second with a share of 28 per cent which, for the second year running, is significantly larger than its share of population (20.1 per cent).[4] Victoria receives the next highest share with 13.5 per cent followed by Western Australia with 12.7 per cent, and South Australia with 6.2 per cent. Tasmania and the Northern Territory receive 1.8 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively while the ACT receives only 0.5 per cent.

Road and rail

As expected, the majority of the Budget’s infrastructure expenditure is allocated towards road projects. For example, in 2014–15 over 78 per cent of all infrastructure expenditure is to be spent on roads. Rail receives approximately 13 per cent. In 2015–16 road expenditure remains over 78 per cent, while rail expenditure falls to a little over 6 per cent. By 2017–18 rail expenditure is only around 0.5 per cent, while road expenditure increases to over 83 per cent. The remaining expenditure is undetermined or allocated to non-road or rail projects such as Community Infrastructure Grants.

Infrastructure Australia priority list

This Budget provides funding for some 36 major named infrastructure projects, such as the Sydney WestConnex motorway, the Melbourne East-West Link, investment in the Bruce Highway and Toowoomba Second Range Crossing in Queensland, the Adelaide North-South Road Corridor, the Swan Valley Bypass in Western Australia, the Midland Highway Upgrade in Tasmania, the Darwin Tiger Brennan Drive Duplication, and Canberra Majura Parkway project.[5] Of the major named projects announced in this Budget, only four – the Gateway Motorway North and Ipswich Motorway in Queensland and the Great Northern Highway and North West Coastal Highway in Western Australia have been assessed by Infrastructure Australia and placed in a ‘threshold’ or ‘ready to proceed’ category in their Priority List; and only 7 of the projects appear anywhere on the list, either in the ‘early stage’ or ‘real potential’ category.[6]

[1].           J Hockey (Treasurer), Budget speech 2014–15, accessed 14 May 2014.

[2].           The budget figures in this article have been taken from the following document unless otherwise sourced: Australia Government, Federal Financial Relations: budget paper no. 3: 2014–15, 2014, accessed 14 May 2014.

[3].           Ibid., p. 84.

[4].           Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian demographic statistics Sep 2013 , cat. No. 3101.0, ABS, Canberra 2014.

[5].           Australian Government, Building Australia’s Infrastructure: Budget 2014–15, 2014, pp. 10–36 accessed 15 May 2014.

[6].           Infrastructure Australia, Infrastructure Australia Priority List Update – December 2013, 2013, accessed 15 May 2014.


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