More major road and rail projects could get federal funding brought forward as the Morrison government weighs calls for economic stimulus.
Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge will flag the government’s willingness to work with state governments during a speech in Brisbane on Tuesday.
“Despite the boom and despite the capacity constraints, the federal government is willing to bring forward funding if projects can be done more quickly,” Mr Tudge will say.
It comes after the government announced three road projects in South Australia would have money made immediately available, rather than in two to three years as was budgeted.
Mr Tudge says $217 million will be spent on those roads over the next 18 months.
“We are in discussions with other jurisdictions, including in Queensland, and will be making further announcements imminently,” he will say.
The government has been under pressure from Labor, big banks, economists and the Reserve Bank of Australia to bring forward some of its planned infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy.
Mr Tudge defended the coalition’s record, arguing 130 federally funded projects are underway, employing 85,000 people.
“We are building the equivalent of multiple Snowy schemes at once with our major projects across the country,” he will say.
He said infrastructure activity was “unprecedented” with 300 of the 900 major projects committed to since the coalition came to power in 2013 announced in the past six months.
Labor’s infrastructure spokeswoman Catherine King has criticised the government for putting out big numbers to grab headlines without make new money available immediately.
“The Australian economy needs responsible, proportionate and measured stimulus, not a prime minister making ad-hoc announcements with little funding in the here and now,” she said.