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New "infrastructure financing unit" to help Aust'n government fund major projects

Xinhua, November 24, 2016 Adjust font size:

A new "infrastructure financing unit" will help the Australian government to continue to fund and improve major national infrastructure projects, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Thursday.

In response to an independent report from Infrastructure Australia, which called on the government to implement more than 75 recommendations, the Prime Minister said he would be establishing the unit to help the government to "develop the funding and financing solutions for landmark projects through the use of public-private partnerships".

The Prime Minister said his government had already committed more than 40 billion U.S dollars to funding infrastructure in Australia over the next five years, including projects such as Inland Rail, WestConnex in New South Wales, and the Forrestfield Airport Link in Western Australia.

"My government is changing infrastructure in Australia, the way we plan it, the way we fund it, and the way we partner to build it," he told Parliament on Thursday.

"Such reform is the only way to deliver the infrastructure that will best serve the modern Australian economy, and will enable us to leave our children and grandchildren the infrastructure they will need to succeed in this, the 21st Century."

Turnbull admitted while some major projects were currently unfunded by the federal government, it would take a unified approach from all levels of government - something he said was an aim at the next Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

"As Infrastructure Australia does make clear, many of the reforms relate to responsibilities of state, territory and local governments," he said.

"We will continue working with our state and territory colleagues, including at COAG, about how we can work together to deliver real change." Endit