Budget boost for infrastructure

Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory are set to benefit from a $5 billion fund for new ports, rail and power projects across northern Australia.

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Low-interest loans, which will go to public-private partnerships, are part of a record spend on infrastructure outlined in Tuesday’s federal budget.

However, the coalition has refused to bow to the Victorian Labor government’s mandate and has not given up on spending $3 billion on the controversial East West Link.

Transport Minister Warren Truss said the Melbourne road was “delayed but not dead”, but has banked $1.5 billion in the budget papers in unspent funding.

The $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will provide an initial $327 million in 2016/17.

The budget continues spending on major road upgrades including the $5.6 billion Pacific Highway duplication, $2.9 billion Western Sydney infrastructure plan and $6.7 billion Bruce Highway upgrade, as well as the $925 million Perth Freight Link.

On a smaller scale, communities in every electorate are set to benefit from a $45 million Stronger Communities fund for projects of around $150,000 each.

WHAT’S IN THE BUDGET FOR INFRASTRUCTURE

* $5 billion for ports, rail, pipes and power stations in a new Northern Australia fund

* $3 billion still set aside for Melbourne’s East-West Link, despite Labor government opposing it

* $5.6 billion Pacific Highway duplication (NSW)

* $2.9 billion Western Sydney infrastructure plan (NSW)

* $6.7 billion Bruce Highway upgrade (Qld)

* $500 million Ballarat to Stawell Western Highway duplication (Vic)

* $925 million Perth Freight Link (WA)

* $500 million Darlington Interchange (SA)

* $400 million Midland Highway (Tas)

* New Stronger Communities program $22.5 million in first year for small social and economic projects in every electorate.