The Commonwealth government has axed funding for 50 road and rail projects across the country.
The announcement follows an independent review, published by Infrastructure Minister Catherine King on Thursday, which found the Commonwealth's $120 billion infrastructure 10-year pipeline - which she says it inherited from the Coalition - was facing a $32.8 billion cost blowout.
The scathing review found the number of projects in the pipeline had tripled between 2015 and 2022. She said the projects couldn't be delivered with the $120 billion allocated even with state and territory contributions.
"There are projects in the [pipeline] that do not demonstrate merit, lack any national strategic rationale and do not meet the Australian government's national investment priorities," the review said.
"Too many large-scale projects are receiving funding commitments without adequate planning, costings and programming to sufficiently manage the significant increase in delivery costs within a volatile market."
The federal government announced that commonwealth funding will be cut for 50 projects across the country, which Ms King said she believed would representing around $7 billion in savings. The full list is below.
Ms King accused the Coalition government of deliberately "announcing projects that did not have enough funding and they knew could not be delivered", labelling their actions economic vandalism.
In a statement, the minister's office said this included projects that couldn't be delivered with the allocated funding, had made little to no progress, and did not align with government priorities.
But the Coalition refuted these claims, with Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie accusing Ms King of cutting projects for political reasons.
"I completely reject the claims from Minister King, who is hyper-partisan in her response to this review and it is evidenced in the projects she cut and the projects she committed to," Senator McKenzie told reporters in Parliament.
Senator McKenzie said it was the responsibility for state and territory governments to deliver the infrastructure pipeline, and blamed the construction union and COVID-19 for driving up costs.
"There's a whole raft of reasons why the delay in delivery occurred, and they sit at the state government's feet," she said.
The Labor government insisted that while projects have been axed, there is no cut to its overall $120 billion infrastructure investment.
The minister said 31 projects across the country that were recommended for cancellation or descoping will be rolled into road and rail corridors. Another 11 projects will retain their commonwealth funding allocation for now, but will be put through a planning and detailed costing process.
Projects losing federal funding
- Blaxland Road/Balaclava Road Intersection Improvements
- Bruxner Highway - Wollongbar to Goonellabah
- Commuter Car Park Upgrade - T1 North Shore, Northern and Western Line - Kingswood
- Commuter Car Park Upgrade - T1 North Shore, Northern and Western Line - St Marys
- Commuter Car Park Upgrade - Woy Woy
- Great Western Highway Upgrade - Katoomba to Lithgow - Construction of East and West Sections
- Gwydir Highway Improvements - Planning
- M7-M12 Interchange
- Mulgoa Road Stage 2 - Glenmore Parkway to Jeanette Street, Stage 5A Blaikie Road to Jamison Road and Stage 5B Jamison Road to Union Road
- Northern NSW Inland Port - Narrabri
- Oxley Highway Stage 2 - Planning
- Remembrance Driveway Corridor Upgrade - Camden Council
- Southern Connector Road, Jindabyne
- Sydney to Newcastle - Tuggerah - Wyong faster rail upgrade
- Toowoomba to Seymour - New South Wales - Moree Intermodal Overpass
- Werrington Arterial Stage 2 - Planning
- Western City Road Transport Network Development - Planning
- Inner Canberra Corridor Planning Package
- Business Case for Melbourne Inland Rail Intermodal Terminal
- Calder Freeway - Gap Road to the M80 Ring Road
- Camberwell Road / Monteath Avenue / Redfern Road Intersection Upgrade
- Frankston to Baxter Rail Upgrade
- Geelong Fast Rail
- Goulburn Valley Highway - Shepparton Bypass Stage 1
- Improving connectivity to Port of Melbourne - Business Case
- McKoy Street - Hume Freeway Intersection Upgrade
- Mornington Peninsula Freeway Upgrade
- Rutherglen Heavy Vehicle Alternative Route
- Victorian Faster Rail Corridor Investigations
- Western Freeway Upgrade - M80 Ring Road to Ferris Road
- Old Surrey Road/Massy-Greene Drive Upgrade
- Hahndorf Township Improvements and Access Upgrade
- Main South Road Productivity Package
- Old Belair Road upgrade, Mitcham
- Onkaparinga Valley Road - Tiers Road - Nairne Road Intersection Upgrade
- Truro Bypass
- Future Road and Rail Connections for Perth
- Great Southern Secondary Freight Network
- Marble Bar Road Upgrade
- Moorine Rock to Mt Holland Road Upgrades
- Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation - Stages 1 and 2
- Beenleigh Station commuter car park, Beenleigh
- Emu Swamp Dam Supporting Infrastructure, Stanthorpe
- High Road and Easterly Street, Waterford Upgrade
- Kenmore Roundabout Upgrade
- Loganlea Station commuter car park, Loganlea
- Mooloolah River Interchange Upgrade (Packages 1 and 2)
- New England Highway upgrade, Cabarlah
- Nicklin Way-Third Avenue Connection, Caloundra
- Tennant Creek to Townsville Corridor Upgrade - Dingo Park Road Intersection Upgrade
- No projects