Victorian Budget sees modest spend on freight

South-west dairy supply chain gets specific road upgrades

Victorian Budget sees modest spend on freight
Much og the Budget heavy lifting is in social support


While social projects made up the this year’s Victorian Budget headline spending and passenger rail and hospitals made up much of the infrastructure focus, there were still offerings for freight.

Of these, road maintenance – long the bane of rural and regional transporters – gets the most from state treasurer Tim Pallas, though it is unlikely to be enough.  

There is to be $450 million for a "road maintenance blitz", maintaining and resurfacing roads across metropolitan and regional Victoria, with $300 million for the latter.

This includes an investment of $35 million to strengthen bridges and replace older intelligent transport systems.

A further $17 million will upgrade freight routes for farmers and processors in the state’s south-west dairy supply chain, "saving them time and money", the Budget papers say.

Other project funding includes:

  • $241 million to complete Stage 3 of Princes Highway East duplication between Traralgon and Sale.
  • $10 million for upgrades to sections of the Robinvale- Sea Lake Road "to improve safety for motorists and the efficiency of freight in this part of northern Victoria"
  • $4 million for safety improvements for motorists on the Henty Highway between Horsham and Lascelles.

For rail freight, $188 million will go to support reliability, punctuality and safety across regional passenger and freight rail network.

  • More broadly, with a view to the post-pandemic economic hit and recovery phase, there may be gains for transport firms and others with:
  • More than $2 billion in tax deferrals, including allowing businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million to defer their 2020-21 payroll tax liabilities for up to 12 months
  • More than $1.8 billion in relief from taxes and fees, including a full refund and waiver of 2019-20 payroll tax for small and medium businesses
  • Land tax relief for eligible small and medium businesses that own their commercial premises. Owner-occupiers of commercial properties can obtain a 25 per cent waiver of the property’s 2020 land tax, while payment of the remaining tax can be deferred to March 31, 2021
  • $836 million for the new jobs tax credit to encourage small and medium businesses to re-hire staff, restore staff hours and create new jobs
  • Increasing the threshold for paying payroll tax on an annual basis from $40,000 to $100,000, reducing administration costs and providing $309 million of cash flow support.

More to come

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