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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2015-16

Budget 2015-16
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2015-16

Part 2: Expense Measures (continued)

Infrastructure and Regional Development

Bathurst 200 Commemorative Flagstaff Project — contribution

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 0.3

The Government will provide $250,000 in 2014‑15 as a contribution to the Bathurst Regional Council for its Bathurst 200 Commemorative Flagstaff Project (the Project). The Project will erect a commemorative flagstaff at the site where Governor Lachlan Macquarie proclaimed the future town of Bathurst on 7 May 1815, Australia's first European inland settlement. The remaining funding for the Project is being provided by the Bathurst Regional Council and community contributions.

Coastal shipping reform

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

The Government will introduce a number of reforms for foreign flagged vessels operating in Australian waters, including:

  • introducing a single Coastal Trading Permit for all ships to replace the current tiered system;
  • amending legislation to allow the carriage of petroleum products;
  • applying a minimum Australian senior crewing requirement for foreign ships remaining on the coast for more than 183 days in a permit period;
  • reducing monthly trade reporting requirements to annual reporting;
  • removing exemptions for large ships from the Coastal Trading Permit requirements;
  • better aligning employment conditions for ships based in Australia with international standards; and
  • making amendments to the Australian International Shipping Register to improve competition amongst foreign flagged ships.

This measure will foster a more competitive coastal shipping industry that better supports the Australian economy by maximising the use of available shipping capacity on the Australian coast.

Commonwealth contribution to the East West Link project

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
Department of the Treasury ‑100.0 ‑300.0 ‑600.0 ‑500.0
Total — Expense ‑100.0 ‑300.0 ‑600.0 ‑500.0

The Commonwealth Government remains committed to the construction of East West Link.

The Government considers this an important project of national significance that will boost productivity and reduce congestion for Victorians.

The Commonwealth Government will provide $3.0 billion for the East West Link to any Victorian Government that proceeds with the project.

However, the Victorian Government has advised the Commonwealth that it is not proceeding with the project and announced it is settling its contractual legal obligations on the project. Therefore, the Commonwealth Government has had to revise the forward estimates, including the return of $1.5 billion of unspent funding from the Victorian Government, consistent with obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Victorian Government and the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth's commitment to providing $3.0 billion to build East West Link is formalised as a Contingent Liability in Statement 8 of the 2015‑16 Budget Papers.

In addition, the Commonwealth remains willing to consider investing in other major infrastructure projects of national significance in Victoria should the Victorian Government come forward with options.

Community Development Grants programme — extension

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 10.0 30.0 10.0

The Government will provide $50.0 million over three years from 2015‑16 to extend the Community Development Grants programme. This programme delivers important community projects across Australia.

This measure extends the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2013‑14 measure titled Community Development Grants programme — establishment.

Developing Northern Australia — improving northern cattle supply chains

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3
Department of the Treasury 35.0 35.0 30.0
Total — Expense 0.4 35.3 35.3 30.3

The Government will provide $101.3 million over four years from 2015‑16 to improve cattle supply chains in the north, with a particular focus on road infrastructure. This funding will seek to improve the productivity and resilience of cattle supply chains in northern Australia, drawing on the CSIRO's state‑of‑the‑art logistics modelling, as well as input from livestock transport and beef industry experts, to identify deregulation opportunities and investment priorities. The funding will also provide incentives for private sector investment to improve the road network and transport logistics in the area.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 8 May 2015 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

This measure will form part of the Government's White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

Developing Northern Australia — northern Australia infrastructure projects pipeline

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 1.0 1.0 0.9 0.9

The Government will provide $3.7 million over four years from 2015‑16 to develop a new infrastructure projects pipeline which will be informed by the priorities identified in Infrastructure Australia's Northern Australia Infrastructure Audit.

The pipeline will be developed by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development in consultation with northern jurisdictions and will provide business and jurisdictions with information on potential roads, rail, water, electricity, ports, airports and communications projects. It will also form part of the broader National Infrastructure Construction Schedule, complementing Infrastructure Australia's national infrastructure priority list, and relevant state and territory infrastructure plans.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 8 May 2015 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

This measure will form part of the Government's White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

Infrastructure Investment Programme — savings

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
Department of the Treasury ‑62.5 ‑27.5 ‑5.0 ‑5.0 ‑5.0
Total — Expense ‑62.5 ‑27.5 ‑5.0 ‑5.0 ‑5.0

The Government will achieve savings of $105.0 million over five years from reprioritising projects in the Infrastructure Investment Programme. Savings will be achieved from the reduced scope of the Tasmanian Freight Revitalisation project, a reduction in the level of contingency funding for Queensland projects, and minor reductions in some Victorian and New South Wales infrastructure projects.

Savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to fund policy priorities in the Infrastructure portfolio.

Infrastructure Investment Programme — Victoria — reallocation

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
Department of the Treasury
Total — Expense

The Government will reallocate savings of $187.5 million from the Regional Rail Link project in Victoria to other infrastructure priorities in Victoria. Projects that will be allocated funding include the continued duplication of Western Highway between Ballarat and Ararat ($97.3 million) and the Princes Highway East from Traralgon to Sale ($70.0 million).

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 — international contribution

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Transport Safety Bureau 43.9 50.0
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 29.6 50.0
Australian Transport Safety Bureau 14.4
Total — Revenue 43.9 50.0

The Government will provide $79.6 million over two years from 2014‑15 to continue the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 should the aircraft not be located in the current search area. This will increase the search area by an additional 60,000 square kilometres to 120,000 square kilometres.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will fund Australia's contribution to the search from funding provided in the 2014‑15 Budget measure titled Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 — search. The cost of this measure will be offset by financial contributions to the search from other countries. The actual cost will depend on a number of factors, including the length of the search.

Further information can be found in the Joint Communique of 16 April 2015 issued by the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development in conjunction with Ministers from Malaysia and the People's Republic of China on the next steps in the search for MH370.

Norfolk Island and the Indian Ocean Territories — essential air services

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development nfp nfp nfp

The Government will provide funding over three years from 2015‑16 to underwrite essential air services to Norfolk Island and the Indian Ocean Territories respectively.

To enable a combined tender process in 2016, the Government has varied the contract with Air New Zealand for the provision of air services to Norfolk Island to align its expiry date with that of the contract for the Indian Ocean Territories services provided by Virgin Australia.

The expenditure for this measure is not for publication (nfp) as the contracts with the service providers are commercial‑in‑confidence.

Norfolk Island Reform

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 4.9 4.8 21.7 23.5
Department of Human Services 4.2 1.2 0.4 0.4
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 1.4 1.6 1.7 1.7
Australian Taxation Office 1.4 1.3 0.7 0.2
Department of Social Services 0.8 10.7 10.8 11.2
Department of Agriculture 0.4 1.7 1.5 1.4
Australian Bureau of Statistics 0.3 0.2
Department of Employment 0.1 0.4 0.3 0.3
Department of Health 3.0 3.2 3.3
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service 0.1
Total — Expense 0.1 13.5 24.9 40.1 42.1
Australian Taxation Office 2.0 9.0 6.0
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 1.5 1.5
Total — Revenue 2.0 10.5 7.5
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 5.4 12.5 4.0 5.0
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 5.4
Department of Human Services 1.5 0.1
Department of Agriculture 1.0
Australian Taxation Office 0.9
Department of Employment 0.1
Total — Capital 14.3 12.6 4.0 5.0

The Government will provide $136.6 million over five years from 2014‑15 (including spending of $35.8 million in capital and receiving $19.9 million in revenue) to reform the governance arrangements and extend Commonwealth and State government programmes to Norfolk Island.

The reforms will extend federal taxation (excluding customs duty and Commonwealth indirect taxes), social security, Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and other key federal services and programmes, such as health, customs and quarantine services, to Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016.

The reforms amend the Norfolk Island Act 1979 (Cth) to transition the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly to a Norfolk Island Regional Council. Under the reforms, the New South Wales Government will deliver state‑level services and applicable New South Wales laws and federal electoral arrangements will be normalised.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

Further information can be found in the press release of 19 March 2015 issued by the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Regional Aviation Access Programme — Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 1.8 2.0 2.1

The Government will provide an additional $5.9 million over three years from 2015‑16 to enable existing Remote Air Services Subsidy (RASS) Scheme service levels to be maintained.

The RASS Scheme subsidises a regular weekly air transport service for the carriage of passengers and goods such as educational materials, medicines, fresh foods and other urgent supplies to communities in remote and isolated areas of Australia. Mail is also carried on these flights under a separate contract with Australia Post.

Regional Aviation Access Programme — Remote Airstrip Upgrade Programme — extension

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4

The Government will provide $33.7 million over four years to extend the Regional Aviation Access Programme to provide a further two funding rounds for the Remote Airstrip Upgrade component.

The funding will provide grants for aviation safety upgrades at remote airstrips on a co‑funding basis, and will provide for a higher level of funding, up to 100 per cent, for works at priority remote Indigenous communities. Remote towns including Indigenous communities will benefit from the measure by being able to undertake safety and access upgrades for their airstrips.

Regional Development Australia Committees — reduced support

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development ‑0.9 ‑0.9 ‑0.9 ‑0.9

The Government will achieve savings of $3.6 million over four years by not proceeding with some activities that support the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Committees.

Sufficient funding will be retained in the RDA Committee programme to support core activities such as probity checks and an independent review of RDA Committees in October 2016.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Seatbelts on Regional School Buses programme — early termination

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development ‑1.0

The Government will achieve savings of $1.0 million in 2015‑16 by terminating the Seatbelts on Regional School Buses programme from 1 July 2015, a year earlier than scheduled. Since the introduction of the programme, most state and territory governments have introduced policies to progressively require the operation of seatbelt‑equipped buses on regional school routes and there is no longer a need for Commonwealth intervention in this area.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Stronger Communities

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 22.5 22.5

The Government will provide $45.0 million from 2015‑16 to establish a programme to fund small capital projects put forward by community groups for an initial two year period. The projects will be required to deliver social benefits to the local community.

Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme — extension to include exports and faster payments

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 27.7 56.3 57.3 58.3
Department of Human Services 2.4 0.6 0.3
Total — Expense 30.0 56.9 57.6 58.3

The Government will extend the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) from 1 January 2016 to include a subsidy at a flat rate of $700 per twenty‑foot equivalent unit for exports. This is estimated to cost $202.9 million over four years. The current scheme for domestic goods will be retained. In addition to this extension, the Government will reduce the time‑frame for TFES claims from two years to six months from the time of shipment.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 13 March 2015 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.