State Government promises big spending on infrastructure

Big spending on infrastructure projects is a cornerstone of the new budget. Picture: ON FILE

By Parker McKenzie

Reduced spending certainly isn’t on the table for the State Government, with huge expenditure to revitalise the Victorian economy announced in the 2022/23 budget.

With the backdrop of rising inflation and interest rates, Treasurer Tim Pallas handed down the budget speech to parliament with a focus on spending big on healthcare, infrastructure and education.

Mr Pallas said 280,000 jobs have been created across the state since the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns.

“The economy is broadcast to grow by 3 and quarter per cent in the coming financial year, industries are roaring to life,” he said.

“Victorians are crowding back to restaurants, theatres and stadiums.”

Net debt is forecasted to be $101.9 billion as of June 2022, before reaching $167.5 billion by June 2026.

$3.5 billion has been allocated for transport infrastructure projects, more trains and the removal of level crossings. The state government’s infrastructure investment will average $21.3 billion dollars a year.

The State Government is forecasting an operating cash surplus of $1.3 billion in 2022/23, with government expenditure expected to fall by 9.7 per cent in the same time period.

Total revenue for the state government is expected to be $81.9 billion in 2021/22, an increase of $3.9 billion from the previous year.

Mr Pallas took aim at the federal government in his budget speech, which he said was treating Victorians as “second class citizens”.

“Victorians have achieved this extraordinary economic recovery despite the commonwealth government shortchanging them billions of dollars,” he said.

“The commonwealth government must stop shortchanging hardworking Victorians and give us our fair share.”