When will the Federal Government be paying for its own infrastructure?

The Federal Government will likely be paying its own public sector costs for infrastructure construction as soon as 2018-19, the Australian Government’s Infrastructure Minister Steven Ciobo said yesterday.

Mr Ciobo, in his maiden speech to Parliament, said he wanted the Government to ensure that the Government could pay its own costs when it was running deficits and had to pay its bills.

Mr Niall said the Government was already paying its bills through its infrastructure portfolio, the National Infrastructure Commission.

“If the Government has an asset that needs servicing, it will be a very easy matter to deliver it, and we will do so,” he said.

“But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a fair share of that expense to be paid by the taxpayer.”

Mr Ciobos speech was largely focused on his plan to pay for the NBN in 2019-20.

But it also included a pledge to “buy in” to some of the other Government’s plans to build new infrastructure, including a planned National Broadband Network, the Northern Rail Link, and a new interstate rail link between Melbourne and Perth.

Mr Turnbull said he was proud of the Government’s infrastructure plan and he would be delivering it “once and for all”.

He said the plan to build a $3.5 billion new Northern Rail link through the Adelaide Hills was a priority for the Government and that the Federal Parliament would be briefed on the plan in March.

He said it would be a “real game changer” for the economy.

“We will be able to build the next generation of trains from the southern tip of the Adelaide Peninsula to the Gold Coast and from there to Perth and to Sydney,” he told Parliament.

Mr Joyce said the Northern and Southern rail lines were both part of a long-term vision for the state.

He also said it was not “a new project”.

“The Northern and southern rail lines will connect to the existing Northern and Western Railway to provide the link to the Northern rail line,” he added.

“It will be the most efficient, most cost-effective and most reliable link in the Northern Corridor.”

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