Transport funding has long been a sore point for Australian taxpayers.
The issue has become especially acute with the rise of homelessness in recent years, with the government recently announcing it would allocate $15 million to fund homelessness services over the next five years.
In April, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced that a further $10 million would be allocated over the following four years, of which $6 million would go towards the transport of homeless people.
But as the issue of transport funding is one of the most divisive in the Coalition’s current government, there’s still a big gap between what the government is proposing and what it’s actually funded.
Here’s what you need to know about the transport funding package.
The funding package is a major milestone in the country’s ongoing homelessness crisis, with just under $2 billion earmarked to tackle the issue over the coming five years, according to the Government’s own figures.
However, some estimates put the number of people living in rough accommodation in Australia at up to half a million.
That’s an estimated $16 billion in lost revenue a year, and an issue that’s been a major sticking point between the Coalition and Labor for some time.
The Government has also announced a new funding package, with $15.9 billion allocated over four years.
This includes $1.8 billion over four-and-a-half years for community and regional transport projects, with an additional $2.5 billion to be spent on the construction of new rail lines, buses and transport infrastructure.
These projects are expected to boost local transport and improve local economies.
However the issue is also the subject of intense debate.
For many Australians, the debate around transport funding has become about who should get what money.
Some people are concerned that funding allocated to the homeless will be used for projects that could not otherwise be funded, such as the construction and operation of the NBN, or even the construction or operation of new infrastructure such as rail lines.
Others argue that the money will be allocated to projects that can be done on a large scale, such the construction, operation and maintenance of community transport infrastructure, or the installation of high-speed broadband.
The debate over funding will inevitably be divisive, with some arguing that the funding will not be adequate to tackle homelessness, while others say that the Government has not adequately addressed the issue.
What’s the funding?
There are three types of funding available: the Community Transport Infrastructure Fund (CTIF), the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the National Infrastructure Program (NIP).
The $15 billion allocated to transport in the first phase of the funding package will be dedicated to the National Transport Infrastructure Plan (NTIP), which was introduced in October 2018.
NTIP is the blueprint for the nation’s transport system, and was created to provide infrastructure to meet the needs of Australia’s growing urban and rural areas.
The NTIP includes an infrastructure grant to the states and territories, which is funded by the Federal Government.
The states and territory governments also receive a share of the NTIP funds.
This grants states and local governments access to a portion of the federal NTIP funding.
For more information about the NTI, visit the NTIs website.
The NIP is a grant to local governments that funds public transport projects across the country, and provides money to local authorities to provide transport services.
The federal Government has been responsible for the funding since 2001, and receives a portion, about 20 per cent, of the total NTI funding.
In 2019, it also received a $1 billion grant to fund the creation of a network of rail lines to provide rail service across Australia.
The $1bn NTI grant is a part of a larger $50 billion NTI package, which includes a $20 billion package for rail and road projects.
The remaining $3.9bn will go towards funding public transport infrastructure projects.
In addition to the NTIF, the NT and NIP are the only transport infrastructure grants available to state and territory authorities.
In 2018, the federal Government announced a $50 million grant for infrastructure and services to improve access to affordable and reliable transport for the homeless.
This was funded through the Community Transportation Infrastructure Fund, which was established in 2010 and provides funding to local transport authorities and private transport companies to improve public transport services for the vulnerable.
The Community Transport Industry Development Fund is a $2 million grant to support the establishment of new public transport facilities.
It was introduced to provide funding to the construction for new public transit services.
In the next trimester of the first year of the National Transit Infrastructure Plan, the $10 billion NTIP was announced, and the Government is funding $2bn in the next four years to create a network to provide new rail services across the nation.
The National Infrastructure Development Fund was also established in 2011 to provide $1billion for public transport in a nationally integrated approach to delivering high-capacity rail and high-value public transport.
The second stage of the NIP was introduced this year, providing $5 billion over five