What's in the 2019–20 Budget for cities?

An overview of measures focussed on cities in the 2019–20 Federal Budget

Last updated 8 April 2019

The recently announced 2019–20 Federal Budget included a number of measures relating to Australian cities and urban environments.

City Deals

The Australian Government is contributing $5.7 billion towards the City Deals that have been signed for Townsville, Launceston, Western Sydney, Darwin, Hobart, Geelong and Adelaide.

In addition the Government is providing funding for Regional Deals, including in the Barkly region in the Northern Territory ($45.4 million); the Hinkler region covering the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay area in Queensland ($172.9 million); and Albury Wodonga on the New South Wales and Victorian border ($3.2 million for initial planning).

Population Package

The Government will provide $2.1 billion to ease population pressures in major cities, and direct population growth towards regional areas. The funding includes:

  • $2.0 billion from 2021–22 for the delivery of fast rail from Melbourne to Geelong to reduce travel times, increase train patronage and ease congestion on the Princes Highway and West Gate Bridge;
  • $14.5 million from 2019-20 (and $2.5 million per year ongoing) for a National Faster Rail Agency to identify and support the development of fast rail connections between capital cities and key regional centres. The Agency will provide advice on fast rail initiatives, including corridors, and work with state and territory governments on the development of business cases for fast rail projects;
  • $23.4 million from 2019-20 to establish a Centre for Population to inform and coordinate the development of population policy across Government; and
  • $93.7 million from 2019-20 (and $23.7 million per year ongoing) to establish the Destination Australia Program to support domestic and international students to study in regional Australia by providing scholarships towards a higher education or vocational education and training (VET) qualification.

Infrastructure Investment Program — Urban Congestion Fund

Through the Urban Congestion Fund the Government will provide an additional $3.0 billion to support projects, improve traffic safety and flow and increase network efficiency for commuter and freight movements in major urban areas.

This will bring the Government’s total commitment to the Urban Congestion Fund to $4.0 billion. This will include $500 million for a Commuter Car Park Fund, which will improve access to public transport by funding park and ride facilities at rail stations. Urban Congestion Fund projects are designed to target congestion in some of the worst affected urban areas and address local pinch points.

You can find out more about these cities measures by viewing the Budget papers on the Budget 2019–20 website.