Budget 2013 for the road users of Australia

It’s that time of year again, the days get shorter, the animals find their hiding spots for the winter and the fiscal credibility of the federal government is scrutinised on the merits of the commonwealth budget. This year’s budget was, by most accounts, coloured by the intense election year rivalry which has taken over almost every story coming from the capital. This said, there were still some interesting take always to chew on. As we did last year, this week we take a look at the budget with the car owner in mind.

Budget 2013 for Australian road usersThe roads budget, things to consider

It’s worth pointing out that this is the federal budget for roads and does not cover most road building projects. Most roads, including highways, are funded directly by their respective state/territory authorities. In this respect federal funding is usually a supplement where major funding is needed on critically important state or interstate road infrastructure.

It’s also worth noting that while the total road transport budget of $3.5bn sounds substantial, it’s very difficult to tie down (from the available figures) what exact percentage of this will actually be spent in the 2013-2014 period. This is primarily because these projects are traditionally part of larger plans or schemes. Phase one of “The Nation Building Programme” (2009-2014) is the current one project however phase two will commence next year.

For a more comprehensive look at the state by state projects being funded by the federal government, have a look at this PDF which we created using the docs and maps from the department of infrastructure and transport.

The highlights in the 2013-2014 budget;

New South Wales
• M4 extension and works
• F3 extension to M2
• Pacific Highway
• M5 duplication and works
• Hunter Valley Expressway
                         • Bega by-pass
                         • Mount Ousley Road, Wollongong

• M80 Western Ring Road
• Federal funding for upgrades to local roads

• Bruce Highway
• Peak Downs Highway
• Brisbane Gateway North Upgrade

South Australia
• South Road, Adelaide

Western Australia
• Swan Valley Bypass
• North West Coastal Highway
• Tonkin Highway

• Midland Highway
• Brooker Highway

Northern Territory
• Strengthening and widening sections of the Stuart, Victoria and Barkly highways

Australian Capital Territory
• Funding made available for small projects and local roads

Parting thoughts

For the road user this year’s budget was not a major change from the status quo apart from a negligible change in the maximum FBT rate (.5% higher as a result of the increase in the Medicare levy). Other key watch points like the diesel rebate and luxury car tax remained steady with no unpredicted changes coming to pass. At this point the real question is what will come after the election as the prospect of a new government comes ever closer.

What did you think of the budget?

What do you think will change after October’s budget?

Please comment below.

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