In the past Australian governments spent considerable amounts on infrastructure, in such things as rail, roads, telecommunications, seaports and airports. Indeed, at the beginning of the twentieth century government fixed capital expenditure was on roughly the same scale as private spending and constituted around 7 per cent of GDP (Butlin et al. 1982; see also Table 12.1; Abelson 2012, chap. 19). At first this proportion of GDP rose as governments in Australia spent more on such things as rail track, roads and urban development projects but after the 1930s it declined, as road transport replaced the railways and other forms of private capital formation became more important.