The October Federal Budget announcement has revealed which big infrastructure projects are being prioritised throughout the country.
Large transport projects create new economic hubs or clusters around small and medium-sized businesses. This stimulates more economic activity both during and following construction.
A mega transport project can cost more than $1 billion. Train infrastructure projects, in particular, tend to be more expensive in Australia than in many other developed countries.
Here are five mega projects to keep on your business radar.
This is currently the biggest public transport project in the country, comprising projects across Sydney’s northwest, city, southwest, west, and the main airport. Once completed by 2025, the $51-billion-plus Sydney Metro will boost rail capacity by up to 60%.
Find out about this project’s opportunities for SMEs from:
Melbourne Metro Tunnel
Pegged to open in three years, this $11 billion metro tunnel project will create a new railway line from Sunbury to Cranbourne/Pakenham and add five stations. It even includes a world-first geothermal energy trial to heat and cool the State Library Station.
Rail Projects Victoria has a range of support for small businesses affected by building works’ disruption.
Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail
Governments have discussed creating an Australian inland rail project for over a century. The latest plan aims to deliver freight from Melbourne to Bromelton, south of Brisbane, in less than 24 hours.
The $20-billion project covers 13 discrete projects. It’s expected to create 21,500 direct and indirect jobs by the time it opens in 2027. It will give Australian producers and businesses better connectivity to their domestic and international markets says the Australian Rail Track Corporation Limited (ARTC). The Australian-Government-owned corporation builds, manages and repairs 8,500km of rail. This will include the inland rail project.
The 1,727km inland rail route takes in Albury-Wodonga, Junee, Parkes, Narrabri, Moree, Goondiwindi, and Toowoomba. If your SME is based along the route, look out for an ARTC business capability workshop, such as this one held recently in Ipswich. Find out about upcoming workshops here.
The METRONET project comprises 72km of new passenger rail and 23 new stations in Perth. The 2022-23 West Australian State Government budget has allocated $6 billion over the next four years towards the project.
The private sector reference group is a good place to learn about SME opportunities.
Adelaide’s North-South Corridor
Meanwhile, you can find out about this key motorway project in the South Australian capital here. The project will upgrade a major route of 78km from Gawler to Old Noarlunga. The $14 billion project will create 4,900 jobs during construction and is expected to be completed by 2031.
Find out more about the project’s benefits here, particularly for skills and industry. You can register for project updates for the final Torrens-to-Darlington section.
Be ready for opportunity
Research shows that such transport improvements can boost SMEs’ probability of exporting. If that’s something your business is considering or expanding to take advantage of domestic opportunities, be sure to speak to your broker for guidance.