Federal Budget 2017: what does the infrastructure spend mean for SMEs?

The government is aiming to deliver $75 billion in infrastructure spending out to the 2027 financial year according to the latest Federal Budget.

This spending will be across all of the states, in both regional areas and capital cities with positive flow-on effects for the whole economy.

What is the government doing – and does it affect you?

Well, for starters, if you live next to one of the projects you’re going to know about it.

At a glance, they include:

  • $10 billion National Rail Program to fund regional and urban rail projects
  • $8.4 billion in equity to be contributed for a Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Project
  • $5.3 billion to get an airport in Western Sydney up and running, with ground broken as early as late 2018
  • $1.6 billion for WA transport infrastructure, including METRONET and better road access to Fiona Stanley Hospital
  • $1 billion for regional rail in Victoria
  • $844 million for new priority projects on the Bruce Highway

The big, sexy $75 billion figure comes from the fact the government is trying to lock in infrastructure spending for roughly ten years. (Ten years might be a big ask considering our track record with elections.)

READ: Federal Budget 2017: Using digital tech to crack down on the ‘black economy’

In the short-to-medium term, this spending means these possibilities for SMEs:

  • The possibility of SMEs getting infrastructure work
  • Valuable supply chains being created in the local economy
  • More money being spent on goods and services in the impacted area
  • New business opportunities in supporting industries ranging from hospitality and catering through to construction and trades
  • Flow-on job opportunities in impacted areas

While there’s no way to chart what exact impact a particular infrastructure project will have on their surrounding areas in an economic sense, there’s no doubt that there are increased opportunities for smaller businesses and their local communities.

Think of it as a hyper-localised trickle-down effect.

READ: Federal Budget 2017: The MYOB verdict