THE government will pour billions of dollars into the regions in a "once-in-a-generation funding opportunity" to turbocharge their economies.
Two programs, worth a combined $9 billion, will be used to invest in strategically significant infrastructure.
A $7.1-billion scheme will invest in nation-building projects in four key regional areas; the Northern Territory ($2.6b), the NSW Hunter ($750m), North and Central Queensland ($1.7b) and WA's Pilbara ($1.5b).
The program - the Energy Security and Regional Development Plan - will be rolled out over the next 11 years, with a focus on regional industries that create wealth, such as agriculture, critical minerals and renewable energy.
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Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Barnaby Joyce said turbocharging these regional economies would "enable people to get the job they want and to pursue their dreams".
"Through targeted investments in infrastructure, low emissions technology and energy production, resources extraction and processing, and water infrastructure, we will open up new frontiers of production and growth," Mr Joyce said.
"This will attract new sources of investment to Australia, further unlocking the potential of our regions and supporting the industries that earn the export dollars that make us wealthier and stronger."
A second $2-billion pool, the Regional Acceleration Program, will invest in 12 priority areas, ranging from regional education infrastructure and government decentralisation to supply chain resilience and modern manufacturing.
Mr Frydenberg avoided answering the question directly, but said the regions were a priority for both parties within the Coalition.
The $9-billion regional infrastructure pipeline is on top of a $17.9-billion spending blitz on roads and rail.
Mr Joyce said the government would continue its decentralisation agenda, with $15.7m over seven years for regional Australian Public Servant hubs to get government staff closer to the communities they serve.
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