Labor’s record

Australia is shaped by the nation building infrastructure projects funded by Labor governments – the Transcontinental Railway, Snowy River Scheme, pioneering opening up northern Australia, streamlining national transport regulation, fostering our maritime and aviation sectors, and the NBN. Most recently, under Labor Australia moved from being ranked 20th in the OECD in terms of total infrastructure investment as a proportion of GDP, to 1st by 2012.

Under Labor:

  • Infrastructure Australia was established in 2008.

  • IA conducted Australia's first comprehensive audit of nationally significant infrastructure and created Australia's first National Infrastructure Priority List.

  • Labor also significantly increased spending on infrastructure, helped to drive reforms to procurement processes, created Australia's first truly national  infrastructure 'pipeline' through the National Infrastructure Construction Schedule, and introduced new tax incentives for private sector infrastructure investment.

  • Labor also began work with the private sector to implement new and innovative ways for the private sector to invest – including via government guarantees (Brisbane Cross River Rail), assistance with availability payments (Melbourne Metro), seed funding (NorthConnex) and contributing Commonwealth land (Moorebank Intermodal).

    In transport, we delivered an unprecedented $60 billion Nation Building Program, while retaining Australia’s AAA rating across all three ratings agencies.

    The former Labor Government:

  • Lifted national infrastructure funding from $132 per Australian to $225.

  • Funded the 15 Infrastructure Australia priority projects.

  • Delivered a National Ports Strategy and a National Freight Strategy.

  • Doubled the roads budget to $46.5 billion and upgraded 7500km of road.

  • Invested $3.4 billion in the rail freight network over six years.

  • Committed more investment in urban rail infrastructure (public transport) than all predecessors combined since federation ($13.6 billion).

    The productive capacity of Australia’s economy in the future will be driven by both human and physical capital. That is why infrastructure is critical our future prosperity.

    Simply boosting investment in infrastructure expands our economic opportunities. In the same way a company invests in its capital stock to underpin future growth, Australia needs to invest in the stock of physical capital to underpin future prosperity, boost productivity and improve our competitiveness.

    Australia’s infrastructure problem is significant.  Our country has a well-established infrastructure deficit, with the economic cost of underinvestment, on Infrastructure Australia’s estimates, reaching $53 billion a year by 2031. This will increasingly become a drag on growth.

    Labor recognised this challenge and in government implemented a reform agenda to boost investment in infrastructure, placing it at the core of our economic agenda.

    Labor recognised this in Government, and committed more money to urban public transport than all previous Parliaments to Federation combined.

    Australia faces an infrastructure conundrum: We have a need for significant investment in long term physical assets to underpin our future growth, but governments at all levels are not able to sufficiently fund them. And we have a deep pool of domestic capital in superannuation that is searching for stable and reliable assets to invest funds over extended periods. Unlocking this capital by helping solve this conundrum will be an important contributor to our economic prosperity. We must do more to bring major new projects to fruition and to provide support for investment through a consistent, independently assessed, bankable infrastructure pipeline.

  • Labor’s approach

    Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese have consistently said that Labor will take the politics out of infrastructure and put the nation’s interest at the heart of nation building. Labor will elevate Infrastructure Australia (IA) from a passive body receiving proposals, to an active participant in the infrastructure market, working with State Governments, brokering deals to bring nation building projects to fruition.

    Infrastructure Australia will develop a long term pipeline for projects for the Commonwealth Government and ensure that projects move through the assessment, development and financing phases. Just as the Reserve Bank of Australia is the independent authority at the center of monetary policy, Infrastructure Australia will be at the center of capital investment, driving results that are in the national interest.

Melbourne's west doesn’t function without effective transport infrastructure. Whether on roads, rail, bridges or bicycle tracks, society grinds to a halt when people aren’t able to get to where they need to go. Anyone who has been stuck on the West Gate during peak hour can attest to this.


Regional Rail Link

Regional Rail Link is the largest Commonwealth investment in urban public transport in Australia’s history, leading to improved frequency and accessibility to trains for all commuters in the West.

The previous Federal Labor Government contributed $3.2225 towards the $4.8 billion project, which will build additional tracks from Southern Cross Station to West Werribee. It will take regional trains off the metropolitan train tracks, separate stopping and express trains and thus create more capacity for metropolitan trains.

We’ve seen the redevelopment of Footscray, Tottenham, Sunshine and West Footscray stations into dynamic hubs of public transport.


Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel 

The biggest restriction on improving public transport in Victoria is getting people in and out of Melbourne's CBD. The City Loop is almost at full capacity and the two new tunnels as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project are required to get more trains in and out of the city. The Melbourne Metro is a critical city-shaping project that will address the increasing demand for train services in Melbourne's growth areas in the north, south-east and most importantly, the West, as well as create the capacity needed for future expansion of the rail network.

It will deliver:

  • Two nine-kilometre rail tunnels from South Kensington to South Yarra, travelling underneath Swanston Street in the CBD, as part of the new Sunbury to Cranbourne/Pakenham line
  • Train/tram interchanges at Parkville and Domain
  • Rail tunnel entrances at South Kensington and South Yarra.
  • Five new underground stations at:
    - Arden
    - Parkville
    - CBD North
    - CBD South
    - Domain

This project will unlock the centre of our rail network, creating capacity for more than 20,000 extra passengers every hour, every day.
The future expansion of our rail network is dependent on it. Unfortunately, the former state Liberal government left the project to gather dust, which is why the Andrews Labor Government is getting on with it as quickly as possible.

The project is estimated to cost between $9-$11 billion.  

The State Labor Government is seeking to fund a third of the project cost, with a third coming from the federal government and a third from the private sector. The former federal Labor government committed $3 billion which was then diverted to roads by the Coalition Government which refused to fund public transport.

The Melbourne Metro Rail Project has been ranked by Infrastructure Australia as the number one infrastructure priority for Victoria.

If you want to see the Melbourne Metro built, sign the petition here