CANBERRA - It could take as many as four Budgets for the much needed investment to fill the nation's infrastructure deficit, federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says.

The centrepiece of Swan's Budget two weeks ago was an A$22 billion ($27.7 billion) investment in roads, rail, ports and communications as part of the Government's ongoing nation-building plan.

"Of course we can't make up in one Budget, two Budgets, three Budgets, or even four Budgets the infrastructure deficit that has been left in this country over a long period of time," Swan said.

"But we can make a beginning."

He told the Minerals Council of Australia's Minerals Week conference that investments in roads, rail, ports, universities and hospitals would support jobs and position Australia to take full advantage of the coming global economic recovery.

"That is why the Government is investing in our international gateways."

Australia's next generation of prosperity must be different from the last one, Swan said,.

He stressed that it needed to be more sustainable.

- AAP