The Australian Government today announced that it will establish a new $6 billion Regional Infrastructure Fund.
The Regional Infrastructure Fund will invest in projects with potential partner funding from States, private investors and/or local governments.
The Fund comprises $5.6 billion of revenue from the Resources Super Profits Tax commencing in 2012-13, as previously announced, and an additional $400 million for the fund between 2010-11 and 2013-14. These additional funds have already been provided for in the Budget.
Today's announcement means investment can start now, to address our urgent infrastructure needs, rather than waiting for revenue proceeds of the Resources Super Profits Tax to flow.
The Government believes it is time to put something back into the mining communities, and those communities which support them, that give so much to Australia and make our national economy strong.
At a speech to the Perth Press Club, the Prime Minister outlined his intention that the lion's share of the infrastructure fund generated by the Resources Super Profit Tax should go to the major resource states of WA and Queensland – consistent with each state's share of total mining production.
Today it was also announced that Western Australia should expect more than $2 billion in additional infrastructure investment from this fund.
That means more rail, roads, ports, and other crucial infrastructure to support the workforce in critical mining regions and in communities that support mining regions.
Infrastructure Australia will be consulted on projects.
Projects will be selected based on the following criteria:
It is high time that the regions in this State that generate so much of our national wealth got their fair share of the proceeds of the mining boom - and that is what our tax reform plans will deliver.
This builds on the record investment the Rudd Government is making in the nation's economic infrastructure - more than doubling the roads budget and increasing fivefold the investment in our interstate rail network.
9 June 2010