The Big Picture: Australia’s Infrastructure Statistics 3

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
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The latest figures on infrastructure spending and usage in Australia show the important role that infrastructure plays to support Australia’s economy and productivity.

Since 2001, Australian real infrastructure construction activity has risen strongly, mainly due to sharp increases in the construction of transport, water and energy infrastructure.

Upon launching the Australian Infrastructure Statistics Yearbook 2013, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss highlighted the 10 per cent growth in transport’s share of infrastructure expenditure in the decade since 2001-02. This 10-year snapshot has seen huge growth in the movement of freight and people.

“The freight task is enormous, with 208 billion tonne kilometres of freight moved by road and 259 billion tonne kilometres of freight moved by rail. More than 6.6 million shipping containers were moved through the nation’s five main container ports, and 100 billion tonne kilometres of freight were moved around the coast,” Truss said.

“But infrastructure also connects people and communities. In 2011-12, 175 billion passenger kilometres were travelled on capital city roads and 12 billion passenger kilometres on urban rail networks.”

Truss added that infrastructure construction has more than doubled over the decade, with much of the growth in private sector-owned projects dominated by mining related investments. Current expenditure has declined from that peak but remains at historically high levels.

The Australian Infrastructure Statistics Yearbook, produced by The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, aims to provide a single, comprehensive annual source of infrastructure statistics for use by policymakers, industry leaders, transport analysts and the wider Australian community.

Statistics are presented for the four main types of economic infrastructure: transport, energy, communications and water.

Key Facts and Figures

  • 10 per cent of Australia’s GDP was accounted for by Australian infrastructure industries.
  • Almost 55 per cent of infrastructure construction was in the transport sector.
  • $19.5 billion was spent on roads.
  • Australia’s total road length was 900, 083 kilometres in 2012.
  • There were 207.6 billion tonne kilometres of freight moved by road. In 2009–10, 258.6 billion tonne kilometres of freight was moved by rail.
  • 175 billion passenger kilometres were travelled on capital city roads,
  • 12 billion passenger kilometres were travelled on urban rail networks.
  • There were 33,404 route kilometres of open railway.
  • There were 1,637 route kilometres of urban railway.
  • There were 28,882,348 passengers on international flights in Australia and 54 984 699 passengers on domestic flights.
  • Sydney airport was the busiest in the country with 35,987,000 passengers using the facility.
  • 6,610,049 twenty-foot equivalent units (containers) were exchanged at Australia’s five principal container ports.
  • 100.9 billion tonne kilometres of freight was moved by coastal shipping.
  • Almost 24 per cent of infrastructure construction was in the energy sector.
  • In 2011 Australia had 57.5 gigatonnes of economically extractable black coal.
  • Eight per cent of infrastructure construction was in the telecommunications sector.
  • There were 11.6 million subscribers to broadband internet and 0.4 million to narrowband.
  • 13 per cent of infrastructure construction was spent on water.
  • 3,030,187 megalitres of water was supplied to cities and 9,006,573 megalitres was used for agriculture.
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  1. Karen Steyn

    Here’s Abbot keeps up his promise to be an “infrastructure prime minister” and picks up the slack now that the mining boom’s done.

  2. Edward Gilmour

    If EA or this publication wants to show leadership to its members and to the whole community? Then use public discussion to come up with a list of schemes (accross the country) that would revitalise our country and drawf the Snowy scheme. Then lobby the political parties and whoever is in Government to impliment the lowest cost, widest benefit ideas.
    We have over 120,000 homeless and over half a million unemployed or more under employed so the concept of work for the dole or civilian national service comes to mind.

    • Brent T

      Edward, please share some of your leadership on how we can address the homeless and unemployed challenges you raise…..