News National What Shorten’s $10bn plan means for your city

What Shorten’s $10bn plan means for your city

Gold Coast Light rail. Shutterstock
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Federal Labor has committed to 10 major infrastructure projects across the nation if it wins power at the next election.

In a speech to the Queensland Media Club on Thursday, Opposition leader Bill Shorten discussed a plan to invest $10 billion in the country’s statutory infrastructure body, Infrastructure Australia (IA), and fund a shortlist of projects.

Queensland would be a big winner, with five projects announced as priorities, but the Northern Territory and ACT may miss out, with no projects listed in the territories.

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“Australia needs to have the best infrastructure market possible, one which takes a generational approach … priced efficiently, internationally attractive and competitive and providing a return to the community, directly and indirectly,” Mr Shorten said.

There was little detail on how much the ALP would commit to each project, but Mr Shorten said government could not fund them alone.

He proposed major investment partnerships with superannuation funds – estimated to be valued at about $4 trillion by 2025.

“We should be putting some of this money to work on nation-building,” Mr Shorten said.

See below to find out how your state fared.

Western Australia

Perth light rail, AAP

Plans in Perth for a light rail stalled following assertions from ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott that the Coalition was only interested in funding roads.

Although that has changed under Malcolm Turnbull, with the current Coalition government to seek funds for the project, Mr Shorten indicated Labor was favourable to funding public transport in the city.

“Investment in public transport in Perth, such as [Labor’s] Metronet plan, [will] improve traffic flows in one of Australia’s most congested cities,” he said.


Melbourne Metro tram, AAPIn Victoria, Mr Shorten indicated the Melbourne Metro project – estimated to cost up to $11 billion – would be a priority.

The project would see a nine-kilometre tunnel built between South Kensington in the west to South Yarra in the southeast to relieve pressure on the current system.

“[The Melbourne Metro boosts] productivity across Melbourne by reducing the pressure on an over-burdened train system which can literally take no more trains,” he said.

New South Wales

standard airplane, ShutterstockIt was voted the “worst road in NSW” five times in a row, but the Pacific Highway, which connects Brisbane and Sydney, will continue to be upgraded under an elected Labor government.

Mr Shorten said for every dollar the government invested in the project, the return to the economy in improved use would be three-fold. Western Sydney’s new airport at Badgerys Creek would also get a public transport kick.

“Labor will back airport rail for Badgerys Creek connecting the western and south lines, because Western Sydney’s new airport needs to be served by public transport from day one,” Mr Shorten said.

South Australia

Adelaide train, ABCElectrification of the train line between Adelaide and Gawler was another project that stalled under the Abbott government’s preference to fund road infrastructure.

Full electrification of the Gawler rail line was announced in 2008 but was delayed after the state government failed to get federal government support.

The federal leadership change saw the South Australian government indicate it would resubmit a funding request to IA, but Mr Shorten said he would also see it through.


AAP, gold Coast Light RailMr Shorten committed to “fast-tracking” upgrades to the Bruce Highway – a major road connecting Brisbane and Cairns – in addition to improvements to the Pacific Highway.

Queensland was a big winner under the plan and projects included the Ipswich Motorway, Brisbane Cross River Rail – a second connection to the city CBD – and Gold Coast light rail.

“A Labor government will work with Infrastructure Australia and the states to revitalise these crucial nation-building projects as our first priority,” Mr Shorten said.


ABC, Tasmania Midland HighwayFederal Labor reaffirmed its commitment to spend $500 million on upgrading a key freight link on the Apple Isle.

The Midlands Highway, which connects Hobart and Launceston, will receive the funding over 10 years – a $100 million boost on the current Federal government’s commitment.


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