Almost $72 billion in major infrastructure projects across the country will be fast-tracked under an agreement between federal, state and territory governments that will cut approval times in half and create 66,000 jobs. The 15 priority projects include the Inland Rail from Melbourne to Brisbane, the Marinus interconnector electricity link between Tasmania and Victoria, the Olympic Dam mine extension in South Australia, dams and emergency town water projects in NSW and road, rail and iron ore projects in Western Australia.

“This investment, and most importantly these jobs, will be brought to market earlier by targeting a 50% reduction in Commonwealth assessment and approval times for major projects, from an average of 3.5 years to 21 months,” says Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “We are on track to complete Commonwealth assessment and approval for Snowy 2.0 in under two years, unlocking over 2,000 regional jobs.” Morrison is expected to pledge another $1.5 billion so the states and territories can immediately start work on small projects and undertake road safety improvements.