Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Media Release"
Apr 16, 2018

Media Release – Labor will build Cross River Rail – Monday, 16 April 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will help end the gridlock in South East Queensland by investing $2.24 billion towards the congestion-busting Cross River Rail project.

This is South East Queensland’s number one infrastructure project – that’s why Labor is making it a priority.

This will allow more trains, more often. It will take cars off the road and get traffic moving. And it will provide a major boost to the economy – with 7700 jobs in the construction phase alone, and 550 ongoing operating jobs.

Labor will partner with the Queensland Government on the project, which will build a new 10.2 kilometre north-south passenger rail line from Bowen Hills to Dutton Park.

The project will incorporate 5.9 kilometres of tunnelling under the Brisbane River and CBD, as well as four new underground stations constructed at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street, and the upgrade of the existing Dutton Park and Exhibition stations.

When completed, the Cross River Rail will remove current bottlenecks by doubling the capacity across the River and allowing more trains to run more often – along every major train line.

And it will mean commuters spend less time in transit and more time doing the things that are important to them. Passengers will save 15 minutes commuting from Beenleigh or the Gold Coast to the Southern CNB.

This is a critical project for South East Queensland’s future – with the population of the region forecast to grow from 3.5 million today to 4.9 million in 2036, investment in good infrastructure is critical.

Demand for passenger rail services is forecast to almost triple by 2036, and passenger train lines are already currently over capacity.

Failure to build the cross river rail will severely limit the region’s ability to grow, and will put more pressure on already congested roads.

Only an out-of-touch prime minister would ignore the critical need for investment in public transport infrastructure.

South East Queensland is crying out for investment in this project – but Mr Turnbull has been ignoring it. He hasn’t put in a dollar of Federal funding to get construction off the ground.

Labor knows that the solution to South East Queensland’s congestion issues is more roads and more rail – that’s why a Shorten Labor Government will build both.

In addition to this $2.24 billion commitment to Cross River Rail, a Shorten Labor Government will invest $1 billion to widen the M1 from Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill to eight lanes as well as widening the M1 to six lanes from Varsity Lakes to Tugun.

In supporting the M1 upgrade but ignoring the Cross River Rail Project, Mr Turnbull and the LNP are only doing half the job. This will result in Queenslanders spending more time on a train platform or stuck in traffic.

Only Labor will build more roads and more rail – boosting infrastructure, creating jobs and cutting travel times for Queenslanders.

Benefits of the project:

  • The CRR will double public transport capacity across the river into Brisbane CBD from the south, providing ultimate capacity for 24 rail services per hour in each direction.
  • There will be a 22% reduction in train crowding by 2036.
  • It will increase daily public transport patronage in 2026 by 9,000 passengers and 23,000 passengers in 2036.
  • CRR will reduce private vehicle kilometres travelled by 526,000km per day – (a 24 per cent decrease in daily crowded hours in 2026 and 29 per cent in 2036)
  • It will provide faster, more reliable travel times across South East Queensland, including to and from the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

MONDAY, 16 APRIL 2018

Apr 14, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Gold Coast, Queensland – Saturday, 14 April 2018

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP
GOLD COAST
SATURDAY, 14 APRIL, 2018

Subjects: Infrastructure investment, Syria.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: The upcoming Budget is a big challenge for the Turnbull Government and the challenge is to actually reverse the cuts in infrastructure that have been put in place. What we have seen is that infrastructure investment will decline from what was anticipated to be in their own Budget in 2016-17, some $9.2 billion, down to $4.2 billion in 2020-21. What we are seeing is a cut in infrastructure as a proportion of the national economy in half from 0.4 per cent to 0.2 percent over the next decade according to the Parliamentary Budget Office. And this is at a time where there are heaps of projects that are ready to go that the Federal Government has refused to fund, projects that were cut when it came to office like the Cross River Rail project in Brisbane, the Melbourne Metro project, but other projects as well like AdeLINK in South Australia, where South Australia is due to get just 2 per cent of the national infrastructure budget in 2020-21. This Government has to invest in infrastructure. Malcolm Turnbull has spent a lot of time taking selfies on trains and trams. It is about time he funded them.

REPORTER: The Government says that this year’s Budget will include unprecedented spending on infrastructure. Do you believe that is possible?

ALBANESE: Well we will actually look at the detail. What they have done in the past is not even invested the money that they themselves have said they would – some $5 billion of underspends in their first four years, which means an effective cut in infrastructure investment. Last year alone $9.2 billion was in the Budget, announced in 2016, but they only spent $7.5 billion, so a $1.7 billion cut in effective infrastructure investment.  And a Government that has failed to invest in projects like Cross River Rail in Brisbane. The big challenge for the Government is to actually match its rhetoric with real investment, real dollars that make a real difference on urban congestion.

REPORTER: The Government also says that the focus of its spending this time round is on easing congestion and (inaudible).

ALBANESE: This would be welcomed if they stopped cutting investment and actually invest. Labor has a record when we were in office of investing more in public transport than all previous governments combined in the previous 107 years. So our investment was real. We didn’t just talk about it. We did it. This Government hasn’t invested and the challenge for it is: Is there real money on the Budget for the Cross River Rail project in Brisbane, for the Melbourne Metro, projects which are underway right now, or projects that need to be fully funded like the complete north-south corridor for Western Sydney Rail, including to the Macarthur region? That’s what people want to see from this Budget because we need to deal with urban congestion and it has been getting worse under this Government because it has failed to invest in public transport and in roads it has only invested in toll roads. It hasn’t invested in the sort of work that needs to be done and when you look at projects like the Black Spots Program, in every state and territory they have spent less than they said they would on those programs in spite of the fact that the Black Spots Program is so important for dealing with high-accident areas.

REPORTER: Labor has made quite a few announcements in the last week regarding roads and rail. Do you see this as a key battleground going into next year’s election?

ALBANESE: Labor will always invest in nation building infrastructure. We will continue to do so and we will point to our record last time we were in office. If we are returned to the Treasury benches, you will see more investment from Labor. Labor will always do more on nation building that this Government. This Government has cut public transport investment in projects like the Cross River Rail, in projects like the Melbourne Metro. They have wrecked the NBN model with their hybrid model that changes from day to day, that was the responsibility directly of Malcolm Turnbull as Communications Minister and they have only invested in roads in our cities that are toll roads. They have actually cut funding to projects when they came to office like the M80 in Melbourne. This is a Government that hasn’t invested in infrastructure. They’ve got all the rhetoric. They’ve got these big figures, but they are out into the never-never, the investment. Even their statement this week when it came to the airport line in Melbourne is funding is funding that is scheduled to commence, perhaps, sometime next decade. Well, there is a project that is under way now, Cross River Rail in Brisbane, as well as Melbourne Metro, which they could have invested in today but they have chosen not to.

REPORTER: Just with what is going on in Syria, what is Labor’s reaction to the news that the US, the UK and France have started air strikes?

ALBANESE: Well Labor has requested a briefing from the Prime Minister’s office. It is important that these national security issues not be the subject of partisan political debate.  We have requested a briefing and that will be happening in coming hours and then Labor will make a comprehensive statement. We quite clearly, along with anyone who cares about human rights, abhor the use of chemical weapons. It has no place whatsoever.

[ENDS]

SATURDAY, 14 APRIL, 2018

Apr 13, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Channel Nine, The Today Show – Friday, 13 April 2018

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TELEVISION INTERVIEW
THE TODAY SHOW – NINE NETWORK 
FRIDAY, 13 APRIL, 2018 

Subjects: Syria, China, immigration, Christopher Pyne.  

BEN FORDHAM: There is no escaping the tension this morning between the US and Russia with fears we could be on the brink of full-scale military action. Joining us is Anthony Albanese from the Labor Party, Josh Frydenberg from the Liberal Party. Good morning to you both.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

JOSH FRYDENBERG: Good to be with you boys.

FORDHAM: Where is Christopher, Josh?

ALBANESE: He is on holidays with Karl.

FRYDENBERG: Obviously, yes.

FORDHAM: That will start a rumour.

FRYDENBERG: Pina coladas in hand I am sure.

FORDHAM: I can picture the two of them now. Josh let me start off. Donald Trump has threatened all-out war. He is talking about sending missiles Syria’s way, also directing some of his language to Russia. He’s softened his language a little bit overnight. Where are we headed here?

FRYDENBERG: Well obviously the chemical attack in Syria was unacceptable. We have seen a huge humanitarian disaster in that country. The US’s presence in the Middle East is absolutely critical and we just hope that peace can be restored, calm can be restored but obviously with as little loss of life as possible.

FORDHAM: Albo, your boss Bill Shorten once upon a time said that Donald Trump’s views are barking mad. But if America gets into action we go side-by-side, don’t we?

ALBANESE: Well, what we need here is cool heads and we need an appropriate response to the chemical weapons attack in a sober way.

FORDHAM: Do you think Donald Trump has shown a cool head?

ALBANESE: Well, I notice that he has changed overnight apparently, the rhetoric. I think it would be a good idea if foreign policy wasn’t announced on Twitter. It would be a good idea if it was done in a way that was calculated, in a way that understood what the end game was rather than just the rhetoric.

FORDHAM: Just briefly, do you agree with that Josh, that it would be better if foreign policy announcements were not made via social media?

FRYDENBERG: Well I don’t think they are. I think what Donald Trump is doing is taking the advice of his senior military people, talking to other world leaders and working out a considered response because, as Albo said, it was a completely unacceptable attack. There needs to be a proportionate response and we need to ensure that this sort of attack doesn’t happen again.

FORDHAM: It did look like he fired off a tweet first though, didn’t he, the President?

FRYDENBERG: Well he is known to be quick on the tweet. That’s for sure.

FORDHAM: Now back home the Prime Minister has admitted that there is tension between Australia and China. Now this is a comment that he made yesterday during an interview with Neil Mitchell who joined us earlier and he basically said that this has been going on for some time now. We’ve now got ministers who are being frozen out of invitations to China. That has got to be a bit of a worry Josh, that no Australian ministers are receiving any invites to go to China anymore?

FRYDENBERG: Well the Prime Minister didn’t confirm that, but what he did say there was a bit of tension in the relationship. This is a critical bilateral partnership that we have with China. We have $175 billion worth of two-way trade strongly in Australia’s favour. But since we introduced that foreign influence law it has been reported negatively in the Chinese press. But we will always stand up for Australia’s rights and values and that is what we will continue to do.

FORDHAM: It’s a bit of a worry what is going in going on in the region Albo when you have a look at the influence of China in the region. We have had a look at what has happened in Vanuatu in the last week or so, China suggesting they might want to set up a base in Vanuatu. We need to keep an eye on this don’t we?

ALBANESE: Australia is a leader in this region. We often I don’t think comprehend how significant we are. For many of those Pacific nations their most-important partner isn’t China or the United States, it’s Australia. It’s important that in a bipartisan way we continue to have that presence in the Pacific.

FORDHAM: Sam Dastyari when he caused a lot of dramas to do with donations from Chinese business people – that reaction to all of that apparently didn’t go down well in China, when Australia was collectively was outraged about the fact that Sam Dastyari was having bills paid by Chinese businesspeople so the Shanghai Sam-Sam Dastyari controversy has caused a few problems there.

ALBANESE: WelI, think the term that you have just used isn’t appropriate Ben, and did cause some problems out there. Sam Dastyari’s behaviour was clearly inappropriate. It cost him dearly. But I think some of the rhetoric around the relationship with China was overblown. Guess what? They noticed.

FORDHAM: So Aussies calling Sam Dastyari Shanghai Sam has upset Chinese leaders?

ALBANESE: Well I would have thought a lot of the rhetoric at that time and since has caused some issues and it is important that, fine for people in the media, but I think people in political leadership positions need to give appropriate statements, whether it be about China or the US or any other nation we have an important relationship with.

FORDHAM: OK. When it comes to immigration numbers the big discussion point this week where a story appeared on the front page of The Australian newspaper that the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton had gone to the Prime Minister and also the Treasurer saying let’s lower our annual migration intake. That was denied really strenuously by the Prime Minister, Josh Frydenberg. But Tony Abbott, the former Prime Minister came out and said I think … what are you laughing about?

FRYDENBERG: Well Tony Abbott, I mean, he is always going to try and cut across what the Prime Minister has been saying lately.

FORDHAM: Really?

FRYDENBERG: Yes, absolutely.

FORDHAM: I thought he was a member of the team.

ALBANESE: You haven’t been paying attention.

FRYDENBERG: He is a member of the Government.

FORDHAM: I thought they were on the same team. Isn’t the PM and Tony Abbott both on the same team? He’s laughing again.

FRYDENBERG: I think you are covering up the biggest secret in sport mate there.

ALBANESE: That’s like saying Ben that the mighty South Sydney were on the same team as the Roosters last night. It’s a similar relationship.

FORDHAM: All right. Let’s stick to the facts. Tony Abbott says that the Prime Minister was being tricky in that denial and he was also saying that he was denying something that was substantially true. So Albo, let me ask you, who do you believe? Do you believe Peter Dutton? Or do you believe Malcolm Turnbull?

ALBANESE: Well, they can’t both be right. That’s the point. Peter Dutton’s response was to say that something different from what Malcolm Turnbull said actually happened, but that Malcolm Turnbull was right. The contradiction was there in Peter Dutton’s own statement.

FORDHAM: Josh, I know they are both trying to say we are on the same page, but it is pretty clear here that something has gone on here and the PM is not too happy about it.

FRYDENBERG: No, the PM is absolutely right. There has not been a Cabinet submission on this issue. But what the Prime Minister said is that ministers discuss issues with the Prime Minister. Now when it comes to our migration intake, we had to clean up Labor’s mess because they lost control of our borders. We have a ceiling of 190,000 people a year. It is below that over the last 12 months. We will obviously consider to ensure that our immigration policy is in Australia’s national interest because immigration has been the backbone of our country. Albo and myself, you know we are two products of European families. We know how great Australia is and the fact more than half of Australian people have at least one parent or both parents born overseas I think says something about our willingness to be open to other countries.

FRYDENBERG: OK Albo, do you want to keep Josh or do you want to go back to Chris next week?

ALBANESE: He’s doing OK this bloke. I reckon this is a good rehearsal. If he agrees to turn up to the studio I reckon Pyne is gone.

FORDHAM: Everyone gets along with in Liberal Party as Josh has highlighted this morning by laughing at the former Prime Minister.

FRYDENBERG: Let me just say I think Christopher has just choked on his pina colada.

FORDHAM: Thank you both.

ALBANESE: They are a rabble without a cause.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 13 APRIL, 2018

Apr 11, 2018

Media Release – Labor to Invest in the Next Stage of Mitchell Freeway Expansion – Wednesday, 10 April 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will invest in the future of Perth’s northern suburbs with a $108 million commitment to the expansion of the Mitchell Freeway, a project that will generate 875 local jobs.

The Mitchell Freeway is one of Perth’s busiest roads – with up to 140,000 vehicles per day – and is critical to link Perth’s northern suburbs to commercial, residential and recreational facilities in the wider metropolitan area.

But capacity constraints and congestion continue to put pressure on the ability of the area to grow, with investment in new suburbs in the north west corridor contingent on extending the Mitchell Freeway.

That’s why Labor is making this $108 investment to better roads, more jobs and future growth Perth’s north.

The project will see the construction of a  5.6 km extension from Romeo Road, beyond its current end point at Hester Avenue, and has been identified by Infrastructure Australia as a “High Priority Initiative.”

Without additional capacity, the Mitchell Freeway is predicted to become the most congested corridor in Perth by the early to mid-2020s.

Despite this, the Turnbull Government is failing to act and fund this vital road project. Local Liberal MPs Christian Porter and Ian Goodenough have admitted that the project is critical to the region’s future – but Turnbull continues to turn his back on local infrastructure.

Labor’s $108 million investment is part of Labor’s $1.6 billion Fair Share for WA Fund that was announced to bring WA’s GST share up to the equivalent of a 70 cent floor.

Today’s announcement builds on Labor’s commitment to better roads and infrastructure for WA, including a $64 million towards the construction of the Stephenson Avenue extension and a new freeway interchange.

Instead of giving multinationals and millionaires big tax handouts, Labor is prioritising more infrastructure and more jobs for WA, and investing in projects that will improve people’s lives, generate local jobs, and build potential for future growth.

Apr 10, 2018

Media Release – Better Roads and More Local Jobs with Labor’s Investment in Stephenson Avenue Extension – Tuesday, 10 April 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $64 million towards the construction of the Stephenson avenue extension and a new freeway interchange – critical road infrastructure that will reduce time in traffic and deliver hundreds jobs for WA locals.

Labor’s investment will create jobs in the short-term, and lead to the creation of a major commercial, housing and retail hub in the long-term – transforming the City of Stirling.

The Stirling City Centre and neighbouring Herdsman Glendalough area is the largest business precinct outside the Perth CBD, with around 40,000 people employed in the area.

But investment in road infrastructure is desperately needed for future growth – with traffic currently forced through smaller, congested roads. It’s estimated that almost 6,500 cars per hour pass through Scarborough Beach Road or Ellen Stirling Boulevard.

The project will see Stephenson Avenue north extended over Mitchell Freeway to Cedric Street. It will also include a new freeway interchange, new shared paths and better linkages to Westfield Shopping Centre, Osborne Park Industrial Area and Stirling City Centre.

The extension forms part of the first stage of the City of Stirling’s urban regeneration project – the largest of its type in Australia – a project will boost economic growth by attracting more businesses and jobs to the area. It will also connect the heart of the City to Scarborough Beach.

An important outcome of the Stephenson Avenue project will be opening up new land to create new homes and businesses close to public transport – a key aim of the METRONET vision.

Labor’s $64 million investment builds on an existing $60 million commitment from the McGowan Labor Government, and is part of Labor’s $1.6 billion Fair Share for WA Fund that was announced to bring WA’s GST share up to the equivalent of a 70 cent floor.

The City of Stirling and the McGowan Government has been fighting for this $64 million in funding to get the project started – but Turnbull hasn’t committed a dollar. Without this funding, the project can’t happen.

Turnbull simply doesn’t care about Western Australia. WA does not get its fair share from Canberra and Turnbull is failing to do anything to address concerns about GST relativities.

Instead of giving multinationals and millionaires big tax handouts, Labor is prioritising more infrastructure and more jobs for WA, that will make a real difference to the lives of West Australians now and in the future.

Apr 3, 2018

Gold Coast the Winner at Commonwealth Games

The Gold Coast will reap the benefits of hosting the Commonwealth Games even after it wraps up, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to attend.

Across the entire state of Queensland, over 1.1 million visitors are expected to arrive and spend more than $870 million over coming weeks.

Importantly, the regions will also benefit from an influx of athletes and tourists as Townsville and Cairns are set to host events including preliminary games for the Basketball.

The Commonwealth Games is the largest sporting event to be staged in Australia this decade and will support more than 30,000 jobs.

As both international and domestic visitor numbers continue to rise in Queensland, the Commonwealth Games is the perfect opportunity to showcase the beauty of the Gold Coast.

Improved roads and public transport will enhance the visitor experience and make it easier for people to get around.

I’m proud that as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport in the former Federal Labor Government we provided the first ever investment in light rail, contributing $365 million to the Gold Coast Light Rail.

We also invested in the Pacific Motorway and the Bruce Highway, both of which will see increased patronage as a consequence of the Commonwealth Games.

What’s more, our investment in the Gold Coast Stadium at Carrara was the single largest allocation from the Community Infrastructure Program and is where the Commonwealth Games will begin and end.

The Gold Coast is an iconic tourism destination in Australia and well deserving of this once in a lifetime opportunity to host the Commonwealth Games.
TUESDAY, 3 APRIL 2018

Mar 27, 2018

Government must boost infrastructure in budget

Infrastructure Australia’s call for investment in railways and road projects that tackle traffic congestion highlights the folly of the Turnbull Government’s cuts to infrastructure investment.

The Government must respond with extra investment in May’s Budget.

Traffic congestion in cities is eroding our quality of life and cost the economy $16.5 billion in lost productivity in 2015 alone, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.

But the Turnbull Government is cutting infrastructure investment, with this financial year’s $8 billion in grants to states set to fall steadily over the next four years to $4.2 billion in 2020-21.

Infrastructure Australia’s 2018 Infrastructure Priority List, released today, provides advice on some of the rail and road projects that can help address the problem.

The Government must take that advice and get behind important public transport projects like the Melbourne Metro, Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, the Western Sydney Rail and the AdeLINK light rail project.

Today’s report marks the 10th anniversary of Infrastructure Australia, which was created by the former Federal Labor Government to provide evidence-based advice about infrastructure proposals and whether they represent value for money.

Infrastructure Australia has done an excellent job in improving the quality of decision-making.

This is despite the Federal Coalition Government seeking to undermine the organisation by ignoring its advice, cutting its funding and seeking to sideline it by creating its own Infrastructure Financing Unit, which is not independent.

Mar 23, 2018

Direct Qantas flight to London will drive tourism jobs growth

Tomorrow’s commencement of Qantas’s direct flight from Perth to London marks the beginning of a new era for Australian aviation and tourism.

Non-stop direct flights will not only make Australia more attractive as an international destination, but also transform the dynamics of Australian tourism, offering new opportunities for Perth and regional Western Australia.

Instead of breaking up their journey in the Middle East or Asia on their way Down Under, users of the non-stop flights will land in Perth. Many will take the opportunity to stop over in the West, providing huge opportunities for hotel owners and tourism operators.

It will also open a new international gateway to superb WA tourism attractions and regions including Broome, the Kimberley, the Pilbara, the Ningaloo Reef and the Margaret River region.

There is great optimism for these new opportunities in the tourism sector, both here and in the UK. I am extremely hopeful the new service will spark significant jobs growth.

I look forward to attending tonight’s pre-flight reception in Perth and tomorrow will join Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo, aboard the first direct Perth-London flight.

The journey will take 16 hours and 40 minutes.

Next week I attend meetings with UK aviation and tourism industry figures to promote the new service in the interests of maximising jobs growth that will be triggered by this important new service.

Mar 5, 2018

Labor Welcomes Long Overdue Rail Commitment

Labor welcomes the Turnbull Government’s plan to build part of the new Western Sydney Rail Line project, first proposed by Labor in March 2015.

Federal and State Labor have long argued for a Western Sydney Rail Link with a North-South line to boost productivity and improve the quality of life of residents of the region.

Federal Labor has already committed funding to get the project started.

While it is pleasing the Turnbull and Berejiklian Coalition governments have finally recognised the need to build a line from St Marys to Badgerys Creek via the airport, their plan includes no link from the Macarthur region to the airport and for an extension to Rouse Hill in the north-west.

They should also commit to this important part of the project now and commence work as soon as possible. The longer the project is delayed, the more it will cost.

Labor also welcomes the Turnbull and Berejiklian governments’ acceptance of Labor’s insistence that the new line should be connected to the Western Sydney Airport from the day it opens in 2026.

The initial plan had passenger rail being connected years after the airport opened, which would have limited its potential to act as a catalyst for investment and job creation.

Thanks to the strong advocacy of the local community and local councils of the Western Sydney region, common sense has prevailed.

Developed properly, the Western Sydney Airport will be an economic game-changer for Western Sydney, creating thousands of jobs for the people of region, not just at the airport, but in associated industries.

But to achieve the project’s full potential, the people of Western Sydney must be able to access those jobs via reliable public transport.

Mr Foley said a State Labor Government would deliver the rail link faster because it would not build the Northern Beaches Mega Tunnel and would not waste $2.5 billion on stadiums.

“Our focus is Western Sydney,” Mr Foley said

SUNDAY, 4 MARCH, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

McCormack Proud to Cut South Australian Infrastructure Investment

Incoming Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack has refused to explain why he will cut infrastructure grants to South Australia to only 2 per cent of the national budget over coming years, despite the state being home to 7 per cent of Australians.

Asked to explain this extraordinary reduction in Question Time today, Mr McCormack claimed he was investing “considerable amounts of money’’ in the state.

Mr McCormack, the Coalition’s third Infrastructure Minister in as many months, is wrong.

The Government’s own Budget papers show Federal infrastructure grants to South Australia will fall from $921 million in 2017-18 to $59 million in 2020-21.

They also show that in its first four Budgets (2014-15 to 2017-17), the Coalition Government’s actual investment in South Australian infrastructure was $377 million less than its budget commitments.

Mr McCormack, who succeeded Barnaby Joyce in the Infrastructure and Transport portfolio this week, is ignorant of the cuts. Rather than admit this, he sought to defend the indefensible.

The new Minister must get across the detail, use his newfound authority to reverse the cuts and provide South Australia with the infrastructure investment it requires and deserves.

He should start by committing Federal funding to the AdeLINK light rail project to address the traffic congestion that is acting as a handbrake on economic growth in South Australia.

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