2022-23 Budget delivers $7.1 billion to turbocharge our regions

Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

The Morrison-Joyce Government is backing regional industries that create wealth with a new $7.1 billion investment pipeline to drive economic growth and make Australia as strong as possible as quickly as possible.

Under the new Energy Security and Regional Development Plan, the Government will develop key regions across Australia, transforming them into next generation export hubs.

Turbocharging these regional economies will enable people to get the job they want and to pursue their dreams.

Through targeted investments in infrastructure, low emissions technology and energy production, resources extraction and processing, and water infrastructure, we will open up new frontiers of production and growth.

This will attract new sources of investment to Australia, further unlocking the potential of our regions and supporting the industries that earn the export dollars that make us wealthier and stronger.

Our investments include:

  • $2.6 billion for projects in the Northern Territory;
  • $1.7 billion for projects in North and Central Queensland;
  • $1.5 billion for projects in the Pilbara region in Western Australia; and
  • $750 million for projects in the Hunter region in New South Wales.

With projects across all regions announced, the remaining balance of funding will be invested into existing Government programs and priority projects in the nominated regions, with further announcements to be made in due course.

These regions will drive our economy, strengthen export markets and support the growth of existing and emerging industries, including mining, agriculture, energy, critical minerals and advanced manufacturing.

In addition to the $7.1 billion investment pipeline, the Government will also invest in projects and initiatives that enhance liveability and boost safety and wellbeing in regions across the entire country, including:

  • $678.0 million to upgrade and further seal sections of the Outback Way in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.
  • $180.1 million to establish the Regional Australia Level Crossing Safety Program, delivering safety upgrades to level crossings in regional and rural areas; and
  • $66.0 million to expand access and reduce out-of-pocket costs to magnetic resonance imaging services in rural and remote areas.

Northern Territory

The Government will invest $2.6 billion in infrastructure projects across the Northern Territory, transforming it into an industrial hub for next generation exports.

  • $1.5 billion to build new port infrastructure, such as a wharf, an offloading facility and dredging of the shipping channel, to boost the region’s importing and exporting ability.
  • $440 million to build new logistics hubs at Alice Springs, Katherine and Tennant Creek to facilitate more export activity out of the Northern Territory.
  • $300 million to support low emissions LNG and clean hydrogen production at Darwin, together with associated carbon capture and storage infrastructure.
  • $200 million to further develop the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct, delivering enabling infrastructure such as a rail spur and a new road network to strengthen supply chains.
  • $110 million in additional funding to continue to upgrade and further seal the Tanami Road, better connecting mining, resources, tourism, and agribusinesses between the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

North and Central Queensland

The Government will invest $1.7 billion in large-scale infrastructure to help North and Central Queensland realise its potential and become a major global supplier of food and fibre.

  • $483 million towards the future construction of Urannah Dam, pending demonstration of value for money and sufficient public benefit for investment, to unlock more irrigated agriculture and providing water security.
  • $400 million to further upgrade the Inland Freight Route, better connecting regional mining and agriculutral businesses with domestic and international markets.
  • $80 million towards the future construction of the Bowen Pipeline, subject to completion of the detailed business case, confirmation of total delivery costs and co-funding, and demonstration of value for money and public benefit.
  • $12.5 million towards a package of groundwater improvements in the Lower Burdekin.
  • $11.5 million towards a package of strategic planning work to help determine the optimal mix of water infrastructure investment in the Burdekin and Central Queensland.
  • $8.0 million in additional funding to support construction of the Big Rocks Weir.
  • $7.7 million to construct new common-user infrastructure at the Port of Bundaberg as part of the Hinkler Regional Deal, building on the Government’s existing $10 million commitment to this project.

Pilbara region

The Government will invest $1.5 billion to support new industries in the north-west, establishing the Pilbara region as a major hub for exports.

  • $400 million in additional funding to completely seal the Tanami Road to the Western Australian border, improving safety, accessibility and flood resilience to better support communities and industries along the route.
  • $285 million to deliver infrastructure upgrades at the Port of Dampier, building its capacity to support next generation export industries.
  • $280 million to construct additional infrastructure at Lumsden Point to better faciliate imports.
  • $200 million to increase onshore processing and value-add of iron ore exports, to support low emissions steel production in Indo-Pacific customer countries like Japan and Korea.
  • $200 million to enhance Australia’s supply chain security through new low emissions manufacturing facilities (using hydrogen and hydrogen-derivatives like ammonia, as well as carbon capture utilisation and storage) in the Pilbara region.
  • $100 million to de-risk private sector investment in firm generation and grid infrastructure to increase system strength and capacity in the Pilbara region.

Hunter region

The Government will invest $750 million to support the Hunter’s expansion into new export industries while continuing to support traditional industries, strengthening the local economy and its position as a leading exporter to the world.

  • $268.8 million to build the New England Highway Bypass to Muswellbrook, better connecting regional industries and helping them get their products to port.
  • $100.0 million to support pre-Final Investment Decision activities and early works to make the Port of Newcastle ‘hydrogen ready’.

Across these regions, the Government will work with jurisdictions and industry to prioritise and deliver these commitments. Funding is conditional pending completed business cases demonstrating value for money and sufficient public benefit for investment, options for co-funding, and consideration of interaction with other relevant processes and initiatives across governments.

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