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Prime Mover Magazine

VTA welcomes infrastructure spending outlined in Federal Budget

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has endorsed plans by the Federal Government to spend $25 billion on infrastructure nationally over the next decade.

Victoria will receive $6.2 billion in funds allocated to improve road safety, provide faster commuter and freight connections between cities and towns and reduce congestion across the road networks.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered the first surplus, of around $7.1 billion, in a Federal Budget in 12 years.

Small and medium-sized businesses were expected to be key beneficiaries with $60 million in Export Market Development Grants announced to take advantage of standing free trade agreements with China, Japan, Korea and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Indonesia.

Road networks in Victoria will reportedly be freed up for heavy vehicles as a result of a $2 billion fast rail planned between Melbourne and Geelong.

Suburban roads will be upgraded around Melbourne and regional centres at a cost of $1.14 billion.

Other significant measures announced outside Victoria include $3.5 billion to construct the Western Sydney North-South Rail Link, increases in urban congestion funding to $4 billion, $500 million to establish a Commuter Car Park Fund, $1 billion for the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative to improve freight routes, and an extra $2.2 billion for local road safety upgrades.

Operators will benefit from an increase to the instant asset write-off threshold by 20 per cent to $30,000, along with expanding access to this to medium-sized businesses turning over less than $50 million annually.

VTA CEO Peter Anderson said after years of underspending in the nation’s fastest growing state, the investments outlined by the Treasurer would be welcomed by the freight and logistics industry.

“Victoria is leading the nation in terms of economic development, population growth and construction so it is deserving of the level of spending and investment contained in the budget so that our infrastructure can keep pace with this growth,” he said in a statement.

“As vital as the new measures contained in the budget are to address this, it is just as important that the Commonwealth and Victorian governments work together in a bi-partisan way if we are to truly overcome our transport challenges," said Anderson.

“However, I commend the Commonwealth for recognising Victoria’s contribution to the national economy, which has been acknowledged through greater infrastructure and other investments earmarked for our state.”

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