Chapter 3: Infrastructure

What this chapter covers

This chapter describes the Department's infrastructure portfolio Outcome 1, and reports on performance for individual programs and administered items. The report includes:

  • an overview of the program's functions and how it is delivered
  • a summary of the program's results against key performance indicators and deliverables and their targets published in the 2011–12 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS)
  • a summary of results for any administered items delivered by the program in 2011–12, and
  • a detailed report on the program's performance in 2011–12 against the applicable components from the 2011–12 PBS.

Outcome and programs

Figure 3.1 shows the relationships between Outcome 1 and its program, and identifies the business divisions of the Department responsible for delivering the program.

Figure 3.1 Outcome 1 and program

Outcome 1
Improved infrastructure across Australia through investment in and coordination of transport and other infrastructure

Infrastructure Investment
Division or Office
Nation Building-Infrastructure Investment
Major Cities Unit
Policy and Research
Infrastructure Australia

Did you know?

In 2010–11, a total of $51.5 billion in major infrastructure engineering construction was done. Of this, $26.2 billion (51 per cent) was on transport infrastructure, $12.2 billion (24 per cent) on energy, $9.2 billion (18 per cent) on water, and $3.9 billion (7 per cent) on telecommunications.

Source: Australian Infrastructure Statistics—Yearbook 2012, Table I 2.1 d.

Program 1.1—Infrastructure Investment


The Department administered programs under Outcome 1 that provided more than $7.8 billion in direct and indirect grants for construction and maintenance of land transport infrastructure.

The Department worked closely with Australian Government agencies, state and territory governments and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to administer this funding, and to implement infrastructure initiatives announced as part of the 2011–12 Budget.

The 2011–12 Budget provided an additional $1.02 billion as a contribution to the duplication of the Pacific Highway. Funding was provided for developing and implementing arrangements for the Liveable Cities and Managed Motorways programs.

Of the 170 applications received for the $20million Sustainable Australia—Liveable Cities program, 25 projects were selected that aim to help state, territory and local governments meet the challenges of improving the quality of life in our capitals and major regional cities.

The $60 million National Smart Managed Motorways program provides funding to state and territory governments for smart infrastructure technologies to reduce congestion and improve traffic demand management on urban motorways. Finalisation of the program arrangements, including Notes on Administration, allowed work to commence on the delivery of two initial National Smart Managed Motorways projects to begin in 2011–12.

During 2011–12, 39 road and rail projects were completed and work began on another 34. The Department continued to manage its other key infrastructure programs, including Roads to Recovery, Black Spots and Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity, with more than 1,957 projects completed during the financial year. Further work was undertaken in developing Regional Infrastructure Fund Program guidelines and a broad framework for Nation Building 2, which is due to start on 1 July 2014.

The Department developed the National Infrastructure Construction Schedule (NICS), a website outlining the national ‘pipeline’ of existing and upcoming infrastructure projects procured by the government sector in Australia. NICS collates infrastructure commitments of the three tiers of government into a single timeline of projects to encourage a more competitive and efficient infrastructure market. Since its launch in May 2012, the NICS website has had over half a million visits with many hits from overseas.

In 2011–12, the Department undertook a review of current design and construct practices for infrastructure procurement and delivery and investigated potential opportunities to drive better value for money. It released the second Infrastructure Planning and Delivery: Best Practice Case Studies booklet highlighting examples of successful infrastructure projects in Australia.

[The following is an extract from the Nation Building: Driving Australia's Productivity brochure.]

The Nation Building Program specifically targets projects that will deliver the highest benefits to the nation. The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has calculated the benefit cost ratio (BCR) for 128 road and rail Nation Building projects, accounting for around 91 per cent of the total value of new capital investment being delivered through the current program. The indicative findings from this analysis shows that, as at April 2012, the national average BCR is nearly 2.7. In terms of direct productivity benefits—largely as a result of travel time savings—all Nation Building projects are expected to save the road freight industry 1.3 per cent of costs and the rail freight industry 2.7 per cent of costs by 2016. In dollar terms, business and freight road users will see annualised benefits of $2.05 billion in 2025, while the rail freight sector is likely to realise benefits of over $300 million in 2025.

And The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has also published a comprehensive source of Australian infrastructure time series statistics for measures of transport, energy, communications and water infrastructure and the use of this infrastructure in Australia. The Infrastructure Statistics Yearbook for 2012 provides a coherent framework that enables comparisons across the four forms of infrastructure and the activities associated with each form of infrastructure.

The Major Cities Unit undertook the following key implementation actions since the release of the National Urban Policy in May 2011:

  • release of the 2011 State of Australian Cities Report in October 2011. The 2010 and 2011 reports have been fully downloaded more than 1.3 million times
  • release of Creating Places for People: an urban design protocol for Australian Cities document and website in November 2011
  • announcement of recipients of the $20 million Liveable Cities Program
  • establishment of the Urban Policy Forum to ensure ongoing stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the National Urban Policy, and
  • progress towards a draft report on walking, riding and access to public transport.


Program 1.1 was delivered by the Nation Building-Infrastructure Investment Division, the Major Cities Unit and Infrastructure Australia, with input from the Policy and Research Division. This program contributes to Outcome 1 by increasing the efficiency and safety of Australia's land transport infrastructure while strengthening the Australian economy. This was accomplished through policy advice to the Australian Government, delivery of a suite of administered items, and work undertaken by Infrastructure Australia, supported by the Office of the Infrastructure Coordinator. The reports on Infrastructure Australia's performance towards Program 1.1 are in Chapter 5.

Summary of performance

Tables 3.1 and 3.2 summarise the Department's results in delivering Program 1.1 against the key performance indicators and deliverables and their targets published in the 2011–12 PBS.

Table 3.1 Summary of performance—Program 1.1 key performance indicators

Key performance indicator Target Result
Australian land transport networks are safer. Projects that improve road and rail safety are delivered. 11–12 Achieved 10–11 Achieved 09–10 Achieved
Projects funded by the Australian Government are designed to the highest safety standards and improve the overall safety of the nation's road and rail network. Projects completed during 2011–12 are shown in Tables 3.4 and 3.5. Since the start of the Pacific Highway upgrade, fatal crashes have fallen from around 40 a year to around 20 a year. Future upgrades should improve safety, further reducing fatalities and casualties on the highway. The Ballina Bypass and Glenugie Upgrade projects on the Pacific Highway were completed in early 2012. Over 50 per cent of the Pacific Highway has now been duplicated.
The National Building Black Spot Projects and the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity programs were established to address dangerous locations on the nation's road network. During 2011–12, 152 Black Spot Projects and 41 Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program projects were completed.
The Department is implementing Australian Government investments in rail that will improve safety outcomes while helping to deliver improved productivity. For example, the Port Botany Stage 1 project completed in 2011–12 is expected to reduce derailments, while providing a safer operational environment with improved lighting and access.
Australian land transport networks are more efficient. Projects that improve road and rail efficiency are delivered. The efficiency of the land transport network has been enhanced through the completion of works to upgrade and widen roads including projects such as: the Ipswich Motorway—Dinmore to Goodna upgrade; the Douglas Arterial duplication in Townsville; the Great Eastern and Roe Highway interchange in Perth; the Tiger Brennan Drive extension in Darwin; the Tarcutta and Woomargama bypasses; and the F5 widening projects on the Hume Highway. Rail projects completed during 2011–12 will help improve the efficiency of the interstate freight rail network by allowing heavier, faster trains to operate reducing freight costs and making rail more competitive with road transport.
States, territories and local governments are appropriately funded for network and off-network projects. Payments are within 5% of forecast. The Department achieved payments of 100 per cent of the funding allocated for 2011–12.
Results Key
Achieved All targets for 2011–12 were met or exceeded.
Substantially achieved Targets were mostly met, and any issues are being managed.
Partially achieved Some targets were met, and any issues are being managed.
Not achieved None or minimal progress was made against targets in 2011–12.

Table 3.2 Summary of performance—Program 1.1 deliverables

Deliverable Target Result
Collaboration with state, territory and local governments to plan and evaluate land transport investments consistent with Government priorities. States report monthly on progress of investments and quarterly on program implementation. States and territories submitted reports for evaluation of their proposed projects, and monthly project progress reports.
Deliver the Nation Building administered items in cooperation with state, territory and local governments. Payout of 100% funding for project progress. The Department paid 100 per cent of funding for project progress for Nation Building administered items.
Number of funding recipients receiving Roads to Recovery funding. 571 recipients receive funding. 560 councils were eligible for Roads to Recovery funding in 2011–12. Five state and territory authorities responsible for roads in unincorporated areas, the Indian Ocean Territories, the Lord Howe Island Board, the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory and the South Australian Local Government Grants Commission were also eligible funding recipients. Of these eligible bodies, 493 received funding and about 2,500 new projects were listed for funding.
Deliver the Infrastructure Employment Projects program administered items in cooperation with state, territory, local governments and identified private sector proponents. Payment of 100% for project progress. $31.4 million was paid to nine projects. All projects were paid for 100 per cent of progress during the year. The Australian Government finalised payment for six projects during 2011–12.
Efficient and effective oversight of the Australian Government's interest in the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). Timely advice to the Australian Government on ARTC performance. The Department provided effective oversight of the ARTC as it went through a major capital works program. The Minister was briefed through quarterly reports against ARTC's Corporate Plan, on the performance of ARTC as a company and progress in delivering its capital upgrade programs.
National Urban Policy. Recommendations considered by Australian governments. Recommendations considered and implementation measures agreed, with coordination across the Australian Government by the Commonwealth Group on Cities.
Regional Infrastructure Fund. Implement agreed projects. Three Regional Infrastructure Fund construction projects and four planning projects were approved and $108.04 million provided for them in 2011–12. Projects are in South Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland.
High Speed Rail Study. Findings considered by Australian governments. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport publicly released the report from phase one of the high speed rail study on 4 August 2011. Copies of this report are available on the Department's website. The study is scheduled for completion around the end of 2012.
Efficient and effective management of administered items. Items are administered in accordance with relevant legislation, published guidelines and Australian National Audit Office guidance. Administered items were administered in accordance with relevant legislation, published guidelines and ANAO guidance.

Table 3.3 provides a summary of the results achieved by each of the administered items under Program 1.1.

Table 3.3 Summary of performance—Program 1.1 administered items

Administered Item Result
Nation Building Program
Nation Building Program Investment. $4,222.5 million was provided in 2011–12 for planning and construction of 135 road and rail projects on the National Land Transport Network.
Nation Building Black Spot Projects. The Department administered $65.2 million in support for projects to improve road safety at identified crash sites. The program has reduced the risk of crashes through measures such as traffic lights, roundabouts, signage and edge sealing at dangerous sites on roads around Australia. In 2011–12, 152 Black Spot projects were completed and 139 were underway.
Nation Building Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity. $22.3 million was provided to improve safety and productivity for the Australian heavy vehicle transport industry. In 2011–12, 41 projects were completed and 24 were underway.
Nation Building Improving the National Network. The Department provided $1,820.0 million as prepayments to New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory to accelerate works on 10 National Network highways in June 2006. The jurisdictions report each month on progress. Total expenses to 30 June 2012 were $1,818.5 million.
Nation Building Roads to Recovery. $326.5 million was provided for a range of purposes, including road work, bridge work and installing traffic lights. Councils lodged audited financial statements showing how they had spent the program funds. In 2011–12, 1,764 projects were completed and around 1,400 were underway.
Nation Building Off-Network Projects. $277.9 million was provided to state, territory and local governments in 2011–12 to plan and construct 62 Off-Network Projects.
Nation Building Off-Network—supplementary. The Department provided $250.3 million to state governments and local councils in 2006–07 to plan and construct 102 projects. Total expenses to 30 June 2012 were $241.8 million, with 20 projects completed during the year.
Nation Building Improving Local Roads. The Department provided $307.5 million to local councils, three state governments, the Northern Territory Government and the Indian Ocean Territories in June 2006.Total funding expensed over the life of the program up to 30 June 2012 amounted to $306.5 million.The remaining funding is expected to be spent during 2012–13 as project acquittals are received.
Cloncurry Community Precinct. Project funding was completed.
Jobs fund—Infrastructure Employment Projects. $31.4 million was provided for nine Infrastructure Employment Projects.
Macquarie Point Railyards Remediation. Project agreement in place and project funding completed. The Department provided $50.0 million during 2011–12.
Nation Building Plan for the Future—Building Australia Fund. $2,236.7 million was provided for eight Nation Building Plan for the Future projects.
Nation Building Plan for the Future— Major Cities. $97.6 million was paid to Western Australia to progress the Perth City Link project.
Regional Infrastructure Fund. $108.0 million was provided for seven Regional Infrastructure Fund projects.
Sustainable Australia—Liveable Cities. Successful projects have been announced.
Sustainable Australia—National Smart Managed Motorways. The Department established the administrative arrangements for the program and $5.55 million was provided for two projects, one each in New South Wales and Victoria, in 2011–12.

The budget and actual expenditure for each administered item is listed in Appendix A.

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Last Updated: 17 November, 2014