2017-18 Federal Budget: Economic outlook, infrastructure and development

The 2017-18 Federal Budget delivers an overall optimistic economic and fiscal outlook for Australia. After a 2016-17 budget deficit of $37.6bn, the deficit for 2017-18 is forecast to be down to $29.4 billion. Following that comes a projected surplus in 2020-21 of $7.4bn.

The Budget also anticipates an economic rebound, with growth at 3.0% from 2018-19. Forecast tax receipts for 2017-18 have been revised up by $6.4bn over the forward estimates to 2019-20 due to a range of new policy measures announced in the budget.

With this economic optimism, the government included significant spending on infrastructure and renewable energy projects. These measure should be both good for the nation’s future and provide ongoing investment and employment opportunities.

While there was not too much direct infrastructure expenditure for Tasmania, there were several announcements targeting rural development from which Tasmanians should benefit. These include:

  • $28.5 million to establish the Regional Investment Corporation, aimed at improving delivery of $4 billion in concessional loans, including the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility and the $2 billion Farm Business Concessional Loan Scheme.
  • An increase of $200m to the Building Better Regions Fund, supporting the construction of community infrastructure.
  • A $472 million investment in regional infrastructure projects by the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). The RGF will include $272 million to provide grants of $10 million or more for major projects which support long term economic growth and create jobs in regions.

More about the 2017-18 Federal Budget: