Building Australia and strengthening our regions

Development of our regions is a key part of the Government's plan for a stronger future.

The Government is investing in roads, rail, dams, and renewable energy that will connect and transform Australian regions and communities, unlocking their vast potential as engines of economic growth.

The Government is also expanding access to essential services in regional Australia, enhancing liveability to attract skilled workers and families.

Strengthening our regions

Turbocharging economic growth and enhancing prosperity in regional communities

If small business is the engine room of the economy, then regional Australia is the backbone. That is why the Government has committed over $100.0 billion to strengthen regional economies since 2013. This Budget provides more than $21 billion to unlock opportunities in regional Australia so communities and businesses can thrive and grow. This includes $2 billion for a Regional Accelerator Program which will create jobs across regional Australia including in the modern manufacturing, critical minerals and agriculture sectors.

The Government will invest an additional $7.1 billion in transformational infrastructure to help Australia push into new frontiers of production and growth. This includes funding for four regions of national importance – supercharging development in the Northern Territory, North and Central Queensland, the Pilbara (WA) and the Hunter (NSW) to harness export growth opportunities. Funding will support the development of ports, dams, roads and low emission manufacturing hubs.

The Government is continuing to drive investment in Northern Australia by providing an additional $2 billion to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, bringing total funding to $7 billion.

An infographic identifying locations of 5 key investments to regional transformational infrastructure on a map of Australia.

Improving transport infrastructure

Busting congestion, connecting regions, meeting our national freight challenge and getting Australians home sooner and safer

In this Budget, the Government is committing an additional $17.9 billion to infrastructure projects as part of its 10‑year infrastructure investment pipeline, which has been increased to a record $120 billion. This commitment will improve connections between regions and major metropolitan centres and encourage business investment and growth, supporting around 40,000 jobs over the lives of the projects.

As part of this investment, the Government is extending the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program until 2024‑25, providing over $500.0 million for local councils to maintain and deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects.

In this Budget, the Government is investing in major road and rail projects across Australia, including committing:

$3.1 billion for the Melbourne Intermodal Terminals, to take trucks off the road and meet the freight task of the nation

$2.7 billion for Faster Rail projects from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane to the Gold Coast in Queensland

$2.3 billion for the North-South Corridor in South Australia

$441.2 million for the METRONET in Western Australia

Building Australia

Over $200 billion made in infrastructure commitments, and 35,000 projects completed since 2013

The Government is building on its 10‑year infrastructure pipeline by committing an additional $17.9 billion to infrastructure projects across Australia, bringing the total infrastructure pipeline to $120 billion. This investment includes over $500.0 million for the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, supporting local councils to maintain and deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects across Australia.

New South Wales

$3.6 billion for projects, including:

  • $1.0 billion for the Sydney to Newcastle – Tuggerah to Wyong Faster Rail Upgrade
  • $352.0 million for the Milton Ulladulla Bypass
  • $139.3 million is being allocated for local road and community infrastructure projects in the state.

With the measures in this Budget, the Government has committed $48.5 billion to New South Wales infrastructure projects since 2013‑14.

Victoria

$3.5 billion for projects, including:

  • $1.5 billion for the Beveridge Interstate Freight Terminals and connecting roads
  • $920.0 million for the Outer Metropolitan Ring Rail South
  • $101.7 million is being allocated for local road and community infrastructure projects in the state.

With the measures in this Budget, the Government has committed $35.5 billion to Victorian infrastructure projects since 2013‑14.

Queensland

$4.4 billion for projects, including:

  • $1.6 billion for the Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast – Beerwah-Maroochydore Rail Extension
  • $1.1 billion for the Brisbane to the Gold Coast – Kuraby-Beenleigh Faster Rail Upgrade
  • $101.7 million is being allocated for local road and community infrastructure projects in the state.

With the measures in this Budget, the Government has committed $35.9 billion to Queensland infrastructure projects since 2013-14.

Western Australia

$2.3 billion for projects, including:

  • $441.2 million for METRONET rail projects
  • $400.0 million for the Outback Way – Western Australia
  • $73.0 million is being allocated for local road and community infrastructure projects in the state.

With the measures in this Budget, the Government has committed $20.3 billion to Western Australian infrastructure projects since 2013-14.

South Australia

$2.9 billion for projects, including:

  • $2.3 billion for the North-South Corridor – Darlington to Anzac Highway
  • $200.0 million for the Marion Road - Anzac Highway to Cross Road project
  • $44.9 million is being allocated for local road and community infrastructure projects in the state.

With the measures in this Budget, the Government has committed $13.8 billion to South Australian infrastructure projects since 2013-14.

Tasmania

$662.2 million for projects, including:

  • $392.0 million for the Tasmanian Roads Package
  • $100.0 million for Great Drive Tourism Support – Packages
  • $16.3 million is being allocated for local road and community infrastructure projects in the state.

With the measures in this Budget, the Government has committed to $4.6 billion to Tasmanian infrastructure projects since 2013‑14.

Northern Territory

$538.7 million for projects, including:

  • $132.0 million for the Central Australian Tourism Roads
  • $124.0 million for the Outback Way – Northern Territory
  • $14.5 million is being allocated for local road and community infrastructure projects in the territory

With the measures in this Budget, the Government has committed $3.7 billion to Northern Territory infrastructure projects since 2013‑14.

Australian Capital Territory

$59.5 million for projects, including:

  • $46.7 million for the Athllon Drive Duplication
  • $2.8 million for the Kent Street and Novar Street Intersection Upgrades
  • $8.0 million is being allocated for local road and community infrastructure projects in the territory.

With the measures in this Budget, the Government has committed $1.3 billion to ACT infrastructure projects since 2013‑14.

Securing Australia's water future

Enhancing drought resilience to support prosperous regions

The Government has enhanced the supply and reliability of water for regions and farming communities by establishing a National Water Grid Fund to develop the next generation of critical water infrastructure projects across the country.

As part of its plan for a stronger future the Government is investing in water infrastructure to support our primary industries, create resilient regional jobs and boost our regional economies. It will unlock new areas and opportunities for agriculture. Since 2013, the Government has commenced 156 projects, worth $1.6 billion, across Australia.

In this Budget, the Government is providing a further $7.4 billion for new and expanded dam projects that increase water security, build drought resilience for the future and promote regional economic development.

This includes $6.6 billion for water infrastructure in Queensland to facilitate the development of a new food bowl in Australia's north and unlock new agricultural export opportunities.

The Government is also providing $139.9 million to make water delivery in the Murray‑Darling Basin more reliable and make the river system more sustainable.

Case study: Paradise Dam restoration – improving water availability and security

The Government will improve water security and unlock economic development in Queensland’s North Burnett region with a $600 million investment in the $1.2 billion Paradise Dam upgrade. Doubling the dam’s current capacity to 300 gigalitres should increase the North Burnett region’s annual economic output by $70 million and increase employment over 30 years by around 10 per cent.

Commonwealth water infrastructure investments

This infographic shows Commonwealth water infrastructure investments on a map of Australia, and includes those that were funded in the 2022-23 Budget and investment totals from the National Water Grid commitments since 2013.

Improving connectivity

Connecting regional Australia to the digital economy

Reliable telecommunications are essential to thriving regional and remote communities. That’s why the Government’s plan for a stronger future includes $1.3 billion for improved telecommunications.

A $480 million investment will upgrade the NBN Fixed Wireless and Satellite networks, which enables up to one million households and businesses in regional, rural, remote and peri-urban areas to access better quality internet services. This means faster upload and download speeds for fixed wireless users and increased data allowances for satellite users.

A new $811.8 million Connecting Regional Australia initiative will expand mobile coverage, support technology improvements, improve accessibility, and resilience to natural disasters.

These reforms will help regional businesses access global markets, provide greater employment opportunities, improve access to education, and help friends and families stay connected.

$811.8 million Connecting Regional Australia initiative

Indigenous connectivity initiatives
Up to 8,000km of new open access mobile coverage
Improved resilience against natural disasters
Emerging technology trials
Affordability initiatives
Targeted broadband and mobile upgrades

Mark runs a distribution centre for farms in regional NSW, where he uses his NBN Fixed Wireless connection to contact clients, manage inventory, and process payments. Enhanced fixed wireless services means that Mark will have a better connection throughout the day with around 8 times faster peak speeds and faster off‑peak periods.

Enhanced essential services

Ensuring communities in regional areas can access world-class healthcare

More medical training located in regions

Accessible health care is critical in rural and regional communities. Training rurally increases a medical student's chances of staying rural when they enter practice. In recognition of this, the Government is providing an additional $150.3 million to support medical training in rural and regional Australia.

  • More Commonwealth supported places in rural and regional medical schools
  • Increased access to regional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines through extended Medicare rebates
  • New University Departments of Rural Health

Taking medical services to remote Australia

Aeromedical outreach services are an important component of the health system in isolated locations. That’s why the Government is investing more than $55 million over four years to continue to support these services.

  • $33.3 million to the Royal Flying Doctors Service
  • $18.0 million to CareFlight
  • $4.1 million to Little Wings