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Back to National Funding of Road Infrastructure

Under Australia’s federal arrangements, state and local governments are responsible for road construction and maintenance. However, the federal government provides funding assistance under various programs. The federal government also collects a fuel excise tax, a Goods and Services Tax on fuel and vehicle sales, and a road user charge that applies to heavy vehicles based on fuel consumption, while state governments collect vehicle registration fees and vehicle stamp duties. Federal revenue from road transport-related activities is added to the general revenue pool and is not earmarked for road infrastructure expenditure. Rather, expenditure under the various funding programs is appropriated as part of the annual budget process. In addition to federal, state, and local revenue, private sector investment is also a source of funding for some roads, and three states maintain networks of toll roads. The current government has asked the Productivity Commission to investigate how infrastructure is currently funded and financed in Australia and to explore possible alternative mechanisms, with a particular focus on maximizing private-sector investment in major projects. A further key area for possible reform in the near future is the heavy vehicle charging system, with a reform advisory group apparently considering proposals for distance and road use charges, and for associated revenue to be directed to state and local governments to use for road infrastructure.

I. Introduction

The Commonwealth of Australia is made up of six states, two mainland territories, and several offshore territories.  The Australian Constitution establishes a federal system of government.[1]  Under the federal financial arrangements, all personal and corporate income tax, a value-added tax (Goods and Services Tax (GST)), excise duties, and other taxes are collected by the federal government.  State and territory governments collect such taxes as land taxes, payroll taxes, motor vehicle taxes, and stamp duties.  In addition, local councils levy “rates” (i.e., annual taxes) based on property values.[2]  In the 2009–10 tax year, the taxation revenue of the federal government represented 80% of the taxation revenue for all levels of government.  The revenue of state and territory governments is “supplemented by the distribution of grants from the Commonwealth Government, which includes the allocation of GST revenue.”[3]

Under the Australian Constitution, roads are the responsibility of state and local governments.  However, the federal government provides funds for the construction and maintenance of different types of road infrastructure as part of its revenue distribution arrangements.[4]  The remainder of funding for various road projects comes from state and local revenue and transfers or investment from the private sector. The federal government establishes national strategies related to significant road infrastructure and distributes funding under various programs,[5] including dedicating funds to work related to a defined “National Land Transport Network” (commonly referred to as the National Network) of important road infrastructure links as well as providing funding to state and local governments for local and regional transport improvements.[6] 

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is the federal agency responsible for providing advice on various road transport policies and programs and administering these on behalf of the Australian government.[7]  The government has also established a statutory body called Infrastructure Australia, which conducts high-level analysis and advises governments, investors, and infrastructure owners on issues such as Australia’s current and future infrastructure needs and mechanisms for financing infrastructure investments.[8] 

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II.  Fuel and Vehicle Taxes and Charges

There are a range of taxes and charges in Australia that apply to road transport-related activities, including the following:

A.  Goods and Services Tax

A GST of 10% was introduced in Australia in July 2000.[9]  The rate is applied to most goods sold in Australia, including transport fuels[10] and motor vehicles.  GST revenue is collected from businesses by the federal government and distributed to the states in accordance with recommendations made by the Commonwealth Grants Commission.[11]

B.  Fuel Tax

Australia has imposed customs and excise duties on transport fuel since the early 1900s.  Unleaded petrol (i.e., gasoline) and diesel are both currently taxed at a rate of AU$0.38143 per liter (about US$1.26 per gallon).[12]  Petrol excise was reduced by 6.7 cents per liter when GST was introduced in 2000, and lowered slightly further in 2001.  Since 2001, the excise rate has not been indexed to inflation, and the rate has not been changed since that time.[13]  Fuel tax credits are available to businesses in relation to certain fuels and uses,[14] as well as in relation to taxable fuel acquired for use in domestic (i.e., household) energy generation and nonprofit emergency vehicles.[15]

C.  Luxury Car Tax

A luxury car tax[16] (LCT) of 33% is “imposed on the GST-inclusive value of luxury cars over the relevant LCT threshold.”[17]  The current threshold is AU$75,375 (about US$65,670) for fuel-efficient cars and AU$60,316 (about US$52,550) for other cars.[18]

D.  Heavy Vehicle Charges

Owners of heavy vehicles are required to pay a registration charge as well as a fuel-based road user charge in order to ensure that heavy vehicles “pay for their fair share of road spending.”[19]  Under the current arrangements, trucking operators can receive a fuel tax credit for the difference between the road user charge and the fuel excise rate.[20]

Identical registration charges are established through regulations enacted in all states and territories and are adjusted annually in accordance with an annual adjustment formula that was established by the Model Heavy Vehicle Charges Act 2007.[21]  This formula involves the application of a seven-year average for both road expenditure and vehicle numbers. 

Changes to the road user charge are calculated by the National Transport Commission (NTC) using the same factor that is applied to adjust the registration charge, and the NTC must also act in accordance with the principles set by the National Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure and the Council of Australian Governments.[22]  Under the Fuel Tax Act 2006 (Cth), the federal government must undertake a consultation process on proposed changes to the road user charge.[23] 

Beginning July 1, 2013, the rates of both charges were increased by 2.5% to reflect changes in the level of expenditure on roads.  The current road-user charge is AU$0.2614 per liter (about US$0.86 per gallon),[24] while the registration charge varies depending on the type of vehicle.[25]  For example, the charge for a two-axle truck up to twelve tons is AU$556 (about US$485), while the charge for a “long combination truck” is AU$9,595 (about US$8,365).[26]  The registration fees are collected by the states and territories[27] and road user charges are collected by the federal government.   

A Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform project, established by the Council of Australian Governments, will continue in 2014.[28]  The reform advisory group’s current proposals reportedly indicate that in the future trucks may be required to have GPS devices installed so that they can be charged for distances traveled and roads used.[29]

E.  Other Vehicle Registration Charges and Stamp Duty

All Australian states and territories require private vehicle owners to pay an annual registration fee in order to use public roads.  Unlike the national vehicle registration system for heavy vehicles described above, the fee amount for cars varies by state as well as by type of vehicle.  The total fee may also reflect different components, such as a charge for compulsory third-party insurance (e.g., in South Australia,[30] Queensland,[31] Victoria,[32] and the Northern Territory[33]).

In addition to the registration fee, a stamp duty (variously called, e.g., “vehicle registration duty,” “motor vehicle duty,” or “vehicle licence duty”) is payable to the relevant state authority when a person registers a new motor vehicle or when transferring a registration to another person.[34]

F.  Tolls

Some state governments have developed networks of toll roads, often in partnership with private-sector investors.  Toll roads are primarily situated in major metropolitan areas in the east of the country (New South Wales,[35] Victoria,[36] and Queensland[37]). 

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III.  National Road Infrastructure Funding

A.  History

In 1959, the government announced the “termination of the hypothecation arrangements [i.e., earmarks] for road funding.”[38]  The policy of funding road infrastructure from general revenue rather than earmarked funds continued until 1982, when the Australian Bicentennial Road Development Trust Fund Act was enacted, establishing a road development program funded by a surcharge of AU$0.01 per liter (later AU$0.02 per liter) on the excise of petrol and diesel.  The program was replaced by the Australian Land Transport Development Act 1988,[39] which abolished the surcharge and allowed the government to determine what share of excise on petrol and diesel should be paid into a trust fund for the purpose of funding road projects under the Act.  Although this Act is still in force, since the 1991–92 fiscal year “successive Governments have set road funding in the budget process, discontinuing the practice of hypothecating a proportion of fuel excise to roads.”[40]

B.  Current Federal Funding Programs

Under the current road funding arrangements at the federal level, revenue from the fuel excise tax and other road transport-related federal taxes or charges is added to the general revenue pool (the Consolidated Revenue Fund[41]) and is not earmarked or placed in designated funds for road (or other transport) infrastructure projects.[42]  Federal expenditure related to road infrastructure is therefore funded by appropriations as part of the annual budget process.  This includes payments to states and territories for road infrastructure projects that come under the “Nation Building Program,”[43] which is part of the “National Partnership Payments to the States” distribution system agreed upon between the federal and state governments.[44]  Funding under this program is appropriated through a “special account” appropriation mechanism authorized by the Nation-building Funds Act 2008 (Cth).[45]  Allocations under the relevant fund are guided by an infrastructure priority list developed by Infrastructure Australia.[46]

The following are some of the major funding programs specifically related to road infrastructure that are administered by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development as part of its broader “Infrastructure Investment” program.[47]

1.  National Projects

This program “targets projects on the National Network that will deliver the highest benefits to the nation.”[48]  It involves the distribution of funds to individual states for major road works that will “significantly improve the efficiency and safety of the National Network.”[49]

2.  Off-Network Projects

Under this program, funds are provided to state, territory, and local governments for road projects not on the National Network.[50]

3.  Roads to Recovery Program

This program involves the allocation and direct payment of funds to local authorities in each state and territory to support the “maintenance of the nation’s local road infrastructure asset.”[51]  Each council is guaranteed a share of the available funding and nominates projects to be funded.[52]  Funding is then distributed “according to a formula based on population and road length set by the Local Government Grants Commissions in each state and the Northern Territory.”[53]  General conditions apply related to expenditure of payments under the program as well as planning and reporting.[54]

4.  Funding for Local Roads

Unlike the Roads to Recovery program, this program provides untied local road grants to councils as part of annual financial assistance grants.[55]  The local road grants program reflects the following features:

  • The amount provided is increased annually to compensate for both population growth and inflation.
  • Each State receives a fixed share of the grant; the share being set out in legislation.
  • Each council’s share of the grant is determined by the State’s local government grants commission.
  • The grants are untied.
  • South Australian councils also receive supplementary funding for local roads in addition to their financial assistance grants.[56]

5.  Black Spot Program

Projects funded under this program include various measures aimed at addressing issues at road locations where many accidents are occurring.[57]  Individuals and organizations are able to nominate a “black spot” for funding consideration, and these are assessed by the relevant state authority and state “Consultative Panels” before being submitted to the federal government.[58]  In order to be eligible for funds, project proposals must include information on whether there have been a minimum number of casualty crashes at the road or site and “should be able to demonstrate a benefit to cost ratio of at least 2:1.”[59]

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IV.  Future Direction

A change in the federal administration occurred in September 2013 with the election of the center-right Coalition led by Tony Abbott of the Liberal Party, who became Prime Minister.  Part of the Coalition’s election platform was to pursue a “significant infrastructure agenda” involving AU$5 billion in additional funding, including funding for several major road projects.[60] 

In November 2013, the Prime Minister, the Treasurer, and the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development announced that the Australian Productivity Commission would be tasked with analyzing and reporting on the following areas:

  • How infrastructure is currently funded and financed in Australia, including by the Commonwealth, the States and the private sector;
  • The rationale, role and objectives of alternative funding and financing mechanisms;
  • Examine the cost structure of major infrastructure projects in Australia, including where infrastructure project costs have increased considerably, compared with other countries;
  • Provide advice on ways to improve decision-making and implementation processes to facilitate a reduction in the cost of public infrastructure projects; and
  • Comment on other relevant policy measures, including any non-legislative approaches, which would help ensure effective delivery of infrastructure services over both the short and long term.[61]

The Productivity Commission subsequently released a detailed Issues Paper and received a number of submissions from interested parties.[62]  It is set to release a draft report in March 2014 and will then hold public hearings before submitting a final report to the government in May 2014.[63]  A major part of the discussion, and a “key plank” in the government’s approach, relates to possible mechanisms for maximizing private sector investment in major infrastructure projects, including roads.[64]  In January 2014, The Australian reported that various submissions to the Productivity Commission called for greater direct charging of all road users through tolls.[65]

There is considerable information and analysis available related to private investment in infrastructure in Australia.  As indicated above, various states have previously examined and utilized different private funding mechanisms for the development of road infrastructure, including Public Private Partnerships and the use of tolls.  In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments endorsed the National Public Private Partnership Policy and Guidelines for use by all state and territory governments.[66] 

In 2011, a report prepared for the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (as it was then called) found that “over-optimistic patronage forecasts have contributed to the commercial failure of a series of major toll roads in Australia.”[67]  The Department then undertook further examination of the issues and potential solutions for managing patronage forecasting.[68]

In 2013, Reuters reported that the Queensland government was considering selling its toll road business to “capitalise on strong demand for the country’s infrastructure assets.”[69]  The approach of initially publicly funding the building of toll roads, including through borrowing money, and then later selling the project to private investors was also being considered for a project in New South Wales.[70]  Most recently, it was reported that China Merchants Group, one of China’s biggest state-owned enterprises, “is eyeing investment opportunities in Australia as state governments look to privatise assets such as toll roads and other infrastructure to reduce debt.”[71]

In addition to possible changes in the use of various public and private financing mechanisms under the new government, future reforms appear likely to include changes to the heavy vehicle charging system discussed above, depending on the outcomes of recommendations made by the Heavy Vehicle Investment and Charging Reform group.  Furthermore, according to the group’s submission to the Productivity Commission, it is “strongly of the view that there must be a stronger relationship between the revenues associated with user charges and the provision of the road network. That is, heavy vehicle charges revenues should flow back to road providers as a source of funding for road provision and maintenance.”[72]  The reform proposals will apparently be considered at the next meeting of the Council of Australian Governments, which is likely to be held around April 2014.[73] 

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Kelly Buchanan
Chief, Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Division I
March 2014
 


[1] The Constitution of Australia, http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2013Q00005.

[2] The Treasury, Australia’s Future Tax System: Architecture of Australia’s Tax and Transfer System – Section 2: Overview of the Tax-Transfer System (2008), http://www.taxreview.treasury. gov.au/content/Paper.aspx?doc=html/publications/papers/report/section_2.htm.

[3] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Year Book Australia, 2012: Government Finance – Taxation Revenue (May 2012), http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1301.0~2012~Main%20 Features~Taxation%20revenue~293.

[4] For information on the funding arrangements from a state perspective, see Parliament of Victoria Road Safety Committee, Inquiry into Federal-State Road Funding Arrangements (Parliamentary Paper No. 361, Session 2006-10, Sept. 2010), http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/publications/committee-reports/819-final-report-on-the-inquiry-into-federal-state-road-funding-arrangements/download.

[5] See generally Infrastructure Investment, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD), http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/index.aspx; Funding Programs, DIRD, http://investment. infrastructure.gov.au/funding/ (both last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[6] See National Projects: Roads, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/projects/roads.aspx; National Network, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/whatis/network/ (both last visited Jan. 22, 2014).  The National Network is defined in AusLink (National Land Transport) Act National Land Transport Network Determination 2005 (No. 1) (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2009C00116.  This Determination was originally made under the AusLink (National Land Transport) Act 2005 (Cth), which has now been superseded by the Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Act 2009 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2009C00304.

[7] See generally About the Department, DIRD, http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/department/about/index.aspx (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[8] About Infrastructure Australia, Infrastructure Australia, http://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/about/ (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).  Infrastructure Australia was established by the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2013C00551

[9] A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2014C00008.

[10] See About Fuel Prices, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, http://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/petrol-diesel-and-lpg/about-fuel-prices (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[11] Commonwealth Grants Commission, https://www.cgc.gov.au/; see also Commonwealth Grants Commission, Western Australia Department of Treasury, http://www.treasury.wa.gov.au/cms/content.aspx?id=3654 (both last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[12] The rates are set out in the Schedule to the Excise Tariff Act 1921 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2013C00555

[13] For general information on the history of fuel excise in Australia, see The Treasury, Fuel Taxation Inquiry: History of Fuel Taxation in Australia (Sept. 21, 2001), http://fueltaxinquiry.treasury.gov.au/content/backgnd/002.asp.

[14] The fuel tax credit system is governed by the Fuel Tax Act 2006 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2013C00594See Fuel Tax Credits and Eligible Fuels, Australian Taxation Office (ATO), http://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Fuel-schemes/In-detail/Fuel-tax-credits---for-GST-registered-businesses/Calculating-and-record-keeping/Fuel-tax-credit-rates-and-eligible-fuels/ (last modified July 1, 2013);  Frequently Asked Questions Relating to Fuel Tax Credits, DIRD, http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/environment/fuel_tax_credit/FAQ.aspx (last updated Dec. 4, 2013). 

[16] A New Tax System (Luxury Car Tax) Act 1999 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2013C00099.

[17] Luxury Car Tax – Getting Started, ATO, http://www.ato.gov.au/Print-publications/Luxury-car-tax/?page=2#Getting_started (last modified Sept. 3, 2013).

[18] Luxury Car Tax Rate and Thresholds, ATO, http://www.ato.gov.au/Rates/Luxury-car-tax-rate-and-thresholds/ (last modified Dec. 17, 2013).

[19] Heavy Vehicle Charges, National Transport Commission (NTC), http://www.ntc.gov.au/viewpage. aspx?documentid=2095 (last updated July 25, 2013).

[20] Under the Fuel Tax Act 2006 (Cth), a fuel tax credit is available in relation to heavy diesel vehicles if they satisfy one of four environmental criteria.  Fuel Tax Credit for Heavy Diesel Vehicles, DIRD, http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/environment/fuel_tax_credit/index.aspx (last updated Oct. 15, 2013); ATO, Fuel Tax Credits for Business 13 (2013), http://www.ato.gov.au/uploadedFiles/Content/ITX/downloads/BUS18875n14584.pdf.

[21] National Transport Commission (Model Heavy Vehicle Charges Act) Regulations 2008 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2008L02216.  For information on this legislation, see Model Heavy Vehicle Charges Act, NTC, http://www.ntc.gov.au/viewpage.aspx?documentid=849 (last updated Nov. 21, 2013); see also Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, A National Framework for Regulation, Registration and Licensing of Heavy Vehicles: Regulatory Impact Statement (May 2009), http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/vehicle_regulation/ris/files/HV_RIS_ 8May2009.pdf.

[22] Heavy Vehicle Charges – How Are Heavy Vehicle Charges Calculated?, NTC, http://www.ntc.gov.au/ viewpage.aspx?documentid=2311 (last updated June 18, 2013). 

[23] NTC, Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge Annual Adjustment: Consultation Report (Mar. 2013), http://www.ntc.gov.au/filemedia/Reports/HVAnnualAdjustment2013.pdf.  

[24] Road User Charge Determination (No. 1) 2013 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2013L00990.

[25] NTC, Heavy Vehicle Charges: 2013 Annual Adjustment to Registration Charges (Mar. 6, 2013), http://www.ntc.gov.au/filemedia/Reports/2013HVAnnualAdjust.pdf.

[26] Heavy Vehicle Charges – Heavy Vehicle Charges 2013/14, NTC, http://www.ntc.gov.au/viewpage.aspx?documentid=2095 (last updated July 25, 2013).

[27] See generally Heavy Vehicle Registration, NTC, http://www.ntc.gov.au/viewpage.aspx?AreaId=35&DocumentId=1793 (last updated Feb. 21, 2012)

[28] About the Project, Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform, http://www.roadreform.gov.au/about-project (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[29] Annabel Hepworth, Trucks May be Tracked by GPS for Fees, The Australian (Jan. 15, 2014), http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/trucks-may-be-tracked-by-gps-for-fees/story-fn59niix-1226801930220#.  The HVCI Reform group’s high level proposals were set out in its submission to the Productivity Commission review of infrastructure funding, discussed below in section IV.  See Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform, Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Public Infrastructure (Jan. 2014), http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/131744/sub077-infrastructure.pdf.

[31] Registering Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/registration/registering-vehicles/registering-motor-vehicles-and-motorbikes.aspx (last updated Jan. 17, 2014).

[32] Transport Accident Charge, Victoria Transport Accident Commission, http://www.tac.vic.gov.au/about-the-tac/our-organisation/transport-accident-charge (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[33] Vehicle Registration, Northern Territory Department of Transport, http://www.transport.nt.gov.au/mvr/registration (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[34] See generally Stamp Duty – Taxation, Business.gov.au, http://www.business.gov.au/BusinessTopics/Taxation/ Taxesexplained/Pages/Stampduty.aspx (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[35] Paying Tolls, NSW Roads and Maritime Services, http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/usingroads/motorways andtolling/tolling_tolling.html (last updated Dec. 23, 2013).

[36] Tollways, Victorian Government, http://www.vic.gov.au/transport-vehicles/roads-road-transport/tollways.html (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[37] Tollways and Tolling, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, http://www.tmr.qld. gov.au/Travel-and-transport/Road-and-traffic-info/Toll-roads-and-tolling.aspx (last updated Jan. 9, 2014).

[38] Fuel Taxation Inquiry: History of Fuel Taxation in Australia, supra note 13.

[39] Australian Land Transport Development Act 1988 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2008C00377.

[40] Fuel Taxation Inquiry: History of Fuel Taxation in Australia, supra note 13.

[41] For information on the federal budget process, see The Commonwealth’s Appropriation Framework – An Introduction, Department of Finance, http://www.finance.gov.au/budget/budget-process/appropriation-bills.html (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[42] See Richard Webb, Petrol and Diesel Excises (Parliamentary Library Research Paper 6, 2000-01, Oct. 3, 2000), http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp0001/01RP06.  According to an information sheet produced by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, in the 2008-09 fiscal year the federal government spent AU$4.9 billion on road infrastructure, while state and territory governments spent AU$9.9 billion and local government expenditure was AU$3.4 billion, for a total of AU$15.8 billion.  In comparison, a total of AU$15.6 billion was collected in the same year from public road-related taxes and charges.  The agency clarified that “[j]oint presentation of the government road-related expenditures with motor vehicle revenues in this information sheet does not imply that there is any direct linkage between revenue and expenditure.”  Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, Public Road-related Expenditure and Revenue in Australia 2 (2011), http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/2011/files/is_040.pdf

[43] Funding for land transport-related projects is distributed under the Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Act 2009 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2009C00304See also Nation-building Funds Expenditure Processes, Department of Finance, http://www.finance.gov.au/investment-funds/nation-building-funds/expenditure-processes.htm (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).  

[44] For the various areas of infrastructure funding provided under this system see Australian Government, Budget 2013-14, Budget Paper No. 3, Part 2: Payments for Specific Purposes – Infrastructure, http://www.budget.gov.au/2013-14/content/bp3/html/bp3_03_part_2g.htm; National Partnerships – Infrastructure, Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations, http://www.federalfinancialrelations.gov.au/content/npa/infrastructure.aspx (last visited Jan. 22, 2014).

[45] Nation-building Funds Act 2008 (Cth), ch 2 (“Building Australia Fund”), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2012C00340See also Nation-building Funds: Building Australia Fund, Department of Finance, http://www.finance.gov.au/investment-funds/NBF/BAF.html (last visited Jan. 22, 2014); Building Australia Fund Projects, DIRD, http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/baf/index.aspx (last updated Oct. 17, 2013).  For information on the special account appropriation mechanism, see The Commonwealth’s Appropriation Framework – An Introduction, supra note 41.

[46] Infrastructure Priority List, Infrastructure Australia, http://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/ priority_list/index.aspx (last updated Dec. 12, 2013).

[47] Funding Programs, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/ (last updated Dec. 20, 2013); What Is Infrastructure Investment, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/whatis/index.aspx (last updated Sept. 18, 2013); DIRD, Budget Statements 2013-2014 – Section 2: Outcomes and Planned Performance, https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/department/statements/2013_2014/budget/dit2b.aspx.   

[48] National Projects, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/projects/index.aspx (last updated Sept. 18, 2013).

[49] Id.

[50] Off-Network Projects, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/projects/off_network.aspx/ (last updated Sept. 18, 2013).

[51] Roads to Recovery Programme Funding Allocations 2009-2014, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure. gov.au/funding/r2r/index.aspx (last updated Jan. 17, 2014).  The original Roads to Recovery program was established by the Roads to Recovery Act 2000 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2004C01154, which provided a special appropriation over four years.  A further four-year program was established under the AusLink (National Land Transport) Act 2005 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2008C00561, and was funded through annual appropriations.  The current program started in 2009 and comes under the National Building program.  It is currently scheduled to end in June 2014. 

[52] Roads to Recovery Funding Conditions, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/r2r/ r2r_funding_conditions.aspx (last updated Jan. 17, 2014).

[53] Funding for Local Roads, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/roads/index.aspx (last updated Jan. 17, 2014).

[54] Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Act 2009 (Cth): Determination of Conditions Applying to Payments under Part 8 of the Act (Apr. 2013), http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/publications/administration/ pdf/R2R_Funding_Conditions_March_2013.pdf.

[55] Financial Assistance Grants to Local Government, DIRD, http://www.regional.gov.au/local/assistance/index.aspx (last updated Oct. 23, 2013).

[56] Funding for Local Roads, supra note 53.

[57] Black Spot Programme, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/index.aspx (last updated Dec. 11, 2013).

[58] Black Spot Programme Funding Conditions, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/ blackspots/bs_funding_conditions.aspx (last updated Dec. 11, 2013).

[59] Black Spot Sites Eligibility, DIRD, http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/ eligibility_of_sites.aspx (last updated Dec. 11, 2013)

[60] Press Release, Liberal Party, Final Update on Federal Coalition Election Policy Commitments (Sept. 5, 2013), http://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2013/09/05/final-update-federal-coalition-election-policy-commitments.

[61] Press Release, Hon. Jamie Briggs, Hon. Tony Abbott, & Hon. Joe Hockey, Productivity Commission Inquiry into Infrastructure Costs (Nov. 13, 2013), http://www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au/jb/releases/2013/November/jb008_2013.aspx.  Previously, in 2009, the Productivity Commission published a staff working paper that looked at the financing of public infrastructure from a comparative perspective.  Chris Chan et al., Public Infrastructure Financing: An International Perspective (Productivity Commission, Mar. 31, 2009), http://www.pc.gov.au/research/staff-working/public-infrastructure-financing.  Later, in 2012, the Infrastructure Finance Working Group, made up of senior officials and consultants, published a report on infrastructure funding reform: Infrastructure Finance Working Group, Infrastructure Finance and Funding Reform (Apr. 2012), http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/iff/files/IFWG_Report.pdf.

[62] Public Infrastructure (Productivity Commission Issues Paper, Nov. 2013), http://www.pc.gov.au/ __data/assets/pdf_file/0003/130089/infrastructure-issues.pdf.  Submissions can be viewed on the Productivity Commission’s website, at http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/infrastructure/submissions.

[63] Public Infrastructure, Productivity Commission, http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/infrastructure (last visited Jan. 23, 2014).

[64] Speech, Hon. Warren Truss, IPA Partnerships 2013 – Infrastructure & Investment Conference: Keynote Address (Oct. 18, 2013), http://www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au/wt/speeches/2013/wts005_2013.aspx.

[65] David Crowe, Drivers Face More Tolls to Use Roads, The Australian (Jan. 7, 2014), http://www.theaustralian. com.au/national-affairs/drivers-face-more-tolls-to-use-roads/story-fn59niix-1226796162625#See also Gary Bowditch, Should Users Pay the Toll for Australia’s Infrastructure Problem?, The Conversation (Dec. 3, 2013), https://theconversation.com/should-users-pay-the-toll-for-australias-infrastructure-problem-20774. 

[66] National Public Private Partnership Policy and Guidelines, Infrastructure Australia, http://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/public_private/ppp_policy_guidelines.aspx (last updated Aug. 21, 2013)

[67] GHD, Revised Final Report to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport: An Investigation of the Causes of Over-Optimistic Patronage Forecasts for Selected Toll Road Projects 1 (Dec. 8, 2011), http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/infrastructure_reforms/files/Attach_C-GHD_Report.pdf.

[68] Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Addressing Issues in Patronage Forecasting for PPP/Toll Roads: Consultation Paper (Feb. 2012), http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/ public_consultations/files/patronage_consultation_paper.pdf; Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Disincentivising Overbidding for Toll Road Concessions (Sept. 2012), http://www.infrastructure. gov.au/infrastructure/infrastructure_reforms/files/Disincentivising_Overbidding_Toll_Road_Concessions.pdf

[69] Australia’s Queensland State Mulls Sale of Toll Road Assets, Reuters (Nov. 8, 2013), http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/08/australia-infrastructure-idUSL3N0IT2IT20131108.

[70] Michaela Whitbourn, Private Funding Dumped in New Plan for Toll Roads, Financial Review (June 18, 2013), http://www.afr.com/p/national/private_funding_dumped_in_new_plan_epZkG1r0xOmzcVVKuFvtQN.

[71] Damon Kitney, Qld Motoways a Likely Target as $63bn China Merchants Group Eyes Investment, The Australian (Jan. 20, 2014), http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/economics/qld-motorways-a-likely-target-as-63bn-china-merchants-group-eyes-investment/story-e6frg926-1226805393662#.

[72] Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform, supra note 29, at 14.

[73] Id. at 7; Press Release, Council of Australian Governments, COAG Meeting, 13 December 2013, https://www.coag.gov.au/node/516.