The Australian Government has culled federal funding for 50 infrastructure projects across the nation following the review of the Infrastructure Investment Program (IIP).
Despite being allocated funding in the 2023-2024 federal budget, the Government has made the call to cut funding for these projects – worth $11.6 billion all up – in line with its latest commitment to delivering projects pertaining to its definition of “national significance”.
Of note as well is that the Government is not detracting from its infrastructure budget of $120 billion; instead, it is reinvesting in larger projects it deems to be critically important to the nation. According to the review, the projects being cut do not “demonstrate merit, lack any national strategic rationale, and do not meet the government’s national investment priorities”.
New South Wales is the biggest loser from the Government’s restructuring of the IIP, with $5.36 billion in projects losing $3.5 billion in federal funding. Victoria is a close second, losing $2.59 billion in funding from $4.77 billion worth of projects. Emblematic of the Government’s “national” approach, South Australia lost $400 million worth in funding, Western Australia lost $317 million, Queensland $230 million, Tasmania $16 million, and ACT $1.5 million in federal funding for infrastructure projects.
“As part of responding to the findings of the review, the Government has made necessary decisions to no longer provide funding at this time to some projects,” said a press release from the office of Catherine King, the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government. “This includes projects that were not realistically going to be delivered with the funding available, have made little to no progress over a significant amount of time, and projects that do not align with Commonwealth or state and territory priorities.”
The strategic review of the Infrastructure Investment Program was announced as part of the October 22-23 budget, with the goal of laying the foundation for a more sustainable, credible, nation-building Infrastructure Investment Program.
The full list of projects cut from the IIP can be read here.