By Adam Coleman
The Rudd Government has announced a $4.7 billion investment in the nation’s road, rail, and education infrastructure, along with changes to the tax system to stimulate the economy and help Australian businesses.
In a press conference, Prime Minister Rudd said the nation building package will boost Australia’s GDP and help create up to 32,000 Australian jobs.
“This package will deal with critical infrastructure in transport. It deals with rail, it deals with roads. It also deals with education. It also deals with how we support private investment,” he said.
The Government cited several key elements to the infrastructure package including the injection of $1.2 billion into the Australian Rail Track Corporation, the bringing forward of $711 million in road spending, doubling the funding for the Government’s Black Spots program and the investment of $1.6 billion in critical university and TAFE infrastructure.
The tax changes outlined in the package include a 10 per cent temporary investment allowance to encourage capital investment by Australian businesses along with a 20 per cent cut in the next quarterly pay-as-you-go (PAYG) tax instalment for 1.3 million small businesses.
The Business Council of Australia (BCA) welcomed the announcement, and supported the Government’s assertion that it will increase the productivity of the Australian economy.
“Investment in infrastructure for both universities and the training system will contribute to the quality of learning and research,” said BCA President Greig Gailey.
“These investments are vital in order to make sure Australia has the capabilities and skills we need for future growth and better social outcomes.
“The road and rail investments also announced today will improve transport efficiency and reduce freight blockages. These are critical issues identified in the BCA’s Infrastructure Action Plan."
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