Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has flagged a “significant” infrastructure investment to boost the nation’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
McCormack, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, said that the federal budget for the financial year 2020/21, which will be unveiled on October 6, will include “significant” new funding for infrastructure projects.
It will come on top of the 100 billion Australian dollars (72 billion US dollars) already committed to the 10-year Infrastructure Investment Programme., Xinhua news agency reported.
McCormack identified water supply as a key infrastructure priority and said that the pandemic had re-written the business case for major road and rail projects.
“Certainly through Covid-19, which has cost many people their jobs, infrastructure is going to be one of the saviours, along with the agriculture, resources and mining industries,” he was quoted by local media The Sydney Morning Herald as saying on Wednesday.
Member of Parliament (MP) John Alexander has called on the government to commit to high-speed rail connecting regional centres between the big cities but McCormack said such a project depends on the state governments.