Budget 2024/25 – What’s in it for the states?


Significant funding of $1.2 billion for the direct Sunshine Coast rail line and $431.7 million for the Coomera Connector Stage 1 (Coomera to Nerang) in Queensland with further funding to duplicate the Bruce Highway on top of money already committed to projects including the Rockhampton Ring Road. 

With the Queensland Government already announcing a $1000 energy rebate ahead of their Budget in June, when combined with $300 rebate announced in the Federal Budget Queenslanders are set to receive $1300 in energy bill relief in the coming financial year. Queenslanders are set to receive some of the most significant cost of relief measures in the country.  

The tax incentive announced for renewable hydrogen will also benefit QLD projects, particularly out of Gladstone and Townsville. 

$6.7 billion over the coming decade for a new production tax incentive of $2 per kilogram starting from 2027-28 and $2 billion for a new round of the Hydrogen Headstart program is designed to give long-term certainty for the large-scale renewable hydrogen industry. This is further investment in an emerging industry that has a lot riding on it’s success. 

New South Wales

Western Sydney was the big NSW winner, scoring $1.9 billion worth of road builds and upgrades, part of preparing for Sydney’s second airport. There was also $100 million for zero-emission rapid bus infrastructure, and $302 million for federal authorities to operate at the new airport. 

The Commonwealth is also partnering with the NSW Government to expand the scope of the South West Sydney rail planning works, with the Macarthur region now added to the business case. 

Much of Western Sydney’s infrastructure works have their genesis in the first plan for Greater Western Sydney, initiated by a previous Commonwealth Minister for Infrastrcuture – Anthony Albanese. This includes the Sairport project, which had been talked about for years before it was Albo who commissioned a scoping study. 

South Australia

The majority of South Australia’s budget allocation falls under infrastructure and defence spending. Significant commitments have been made to infrastructure and transport projects in South Australia, including $100 million for the South Eastern Freeway Upgrade,$120 million to upgrade the Mt Barker and Verdun interchanges, and the reaffirmation of $15.4 billion for the Torrens to Darlington project. 

In defence, $101.8 million has been allocated for much-needed workforce development initiatives to support the construction of nuclear-powered submarines. Including, $68.4 million over seven years for the new Skills and Training Academy at Osborne. And an equity injection to Australian Naval Infrastructure, over four years, to progress priority construction and design works at the nuclear-powered submarine construction yard. 

Outside direct spending, SA is poised to take advantage of some of the $22.7 billion allocated to the Future Made in Australia funding through further development of renewable hydrogen, green metals and low-carbon liquid fuels.


Having delayed major projects including the Airport Rail Link, rephasing and redesigning hospital builds and upgrades, and working on clearing the state’s post-COVID debit hangover, Pallas and Premier Jacinta Allan were hoping for funds to back the state’s ongoing ‘Big Build’ program – especially the Suburban Rail Loop, which has been given a thumbs-up by voters at two elections, yet continues to rise in estimated costs. 

Victoria’s infrastructure projects received $19.2 billion over the next decade, including $3.3 billion for the North East Link.  

The funding was critical, given the rising costs of tunneling and construction on this complex project, which finally closes the gap in Melbourne’s ring road and delivers a new busway.

The Commonwealth funding also included $437.3 million for suburban roads in Melbourne’s south-east and north. 

However, regional roads and infrastructure for Melbourne’s booming outer west missed out. 

Western Australia 

Western Australia’s state budget was out a week before the Commonwealth’s, as Premier Roger Cook and Treasurer Rita Saffioti gear up for their 2025 election. Western Australia’s budget included significant mental health and infrastructure spending, particularly for the major Metronet rail network expansion project. 

The federal budget included $1.7 billion for Metronet construction and signal upgrades to boost capacity, which will be a welcome hand with the project’s rising costs. This was part of $8.9 billion in infrastructure funding for Western Australia, to be spent over the next decade.  

The Australian Capital Territory 

The $50 million pledge for infrastructure planning is big money for the ACT Government. 

Here’s why it’s interesting. 

It’s $50 million to plan stage 2B of Canberra’s light rail, from the southern edge of the city to Woden, costing several billions and running by 2033.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is seeking a seventh term for Labor at this year’s ACT election. Labor has held government since 2001, but formed government in a coalition with the Greens in 2020. Support to expedite Stage 2B of the light rail project is a core part of the coalition’s future agreement. 

The ACT Liberals recently released their own pre-election transport plan, which would scrap light rail for a much cheaper busway by 2027. Their plan includes 500 new electric buses, and a plan for a new ACT-based assembly plant to get them on the road. 

Light rail has been popular in Canberra, but the Opposition is offering a genuine alternative that would be cheaper, faster, and create manufacturing jobs. 

This planning money from the Commonwealth pales next to their contributions to the states, but this $50 million is confirmation that trams versus buses will determine the next ACT Government.

Northern Territory

The Commonwealth will spend $2.1 billion over the next 10 years as part of a partnership agreement with the Territory Government to invest $4 billion for housing in remote areas.

Rural roads were also funded, with $72.0 million for Port Keats Road, $64.0 million for the Berrimah Road Duplication, $25.0 million for the Carpentaria Highway Upgrade.

The Northern Territory released its budget on the same day as the Commonwealth, revealing $11 billion worth of debt that’s set to worsen. As Chief Minister and Treasurer Eva Lawler said in her budget speech, it was “not a glamorous budget”, as the Territory grapples with falling mining royalties and high public service costs.

“You cannot just breathe hot air on the issues and given them a bit of shine with your t-shirt,” the Chief Minister said.


Tasmania’s infrastructure pipeline spending has increased over the forward estimates from $1.72 billion to $1.79 billion from this year’s budget. Major road upgrades included

$80 million for the Lyell Highway in Tasmania and an increase in funding for black spot projects.


Ed Cavanough & Rebecca Thistleton


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