Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Media Release"
Oct 24, 2018

Media Release – Morrison Must Release Funding for Mackay Ring Road – Wednesday, 28 October 2018

Scott Morrison should immediately release the funding he has secretly allocated for the Mackay Ring Road and get on with delivering this important project.

According to media leaks, the Federal Government allocated funding to 10 infrastructure projects including the Mackay Ring Road Stage II six months ago in its 2018 Budget.

But it cynically chose to sit on the funding, delaying its announcement until the next Federal election campaign.

In Question Time today Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese asked Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack : “Why at a time when the road toll is rising and congestion in our cities is worsening, is the Government sitting on these projects and not getting on with the job of delivering them?’’

But Mr McCormack refused to address the question.

Mr Albanese said the Government should end its political games and release the investment now so it can be put to use in the public interest.

“Scott Morrison should stop pussy footing around,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Commencing this project now would create much-needed economic activity and construction jobs in the short term and generate productivity gains once the project is completed.

“The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has spent five years cutting infrastructure investment and is now engaged in delaying projects until it suits their partisan political convenience.

“Either that or the investment is not real and the projects would be pushed off into the Never-Never by a re-elected Morrison Government.’’

Labor candidate for Dawson Belinda Hassan said Federal Labor had already committed $102 million to build the Ring Road in partnership with the Queensland Government.

“If both major parties agree the Ring Road Stage II should go ahead, there is no reason why we shouldn’t get to work as soon as possible,’’ Ms Hassan said.

“This project will make a real difference to our community and we demand action now.’

Oct 24, 2018

Media Release – Morrison Must Release Funding for Linkfield Road Overpass

Scott Morrison should immediately release the funding he has secretly allocated for the Linkfield Road Overpass and get on with this important project.

According to media leaks, the Federal Government allocated investment for 10 major infrastructure projects including the Linkfield Road Overpass six months ago, in the 2018 Budget.

But it cynically chose to sit on the funding for announcement during the next Federal election campaign.

In Question Time today Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese asked Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack: “Why at a time when the road toll is rising and congestion in our cities is worsening, is the Government sitting on these projects and not getting on with the job of delivering them?’’

But Mr McCormack failed to address the question.

Mr Albanese said Prime Minister Scott Morrison should end the political games and release the money now so it can be put to use in the public interest.

“Scott Morrison should stop pussy footing around,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Commencing this project now would create much-needed economic activity and construction jobs in the short term and important productivity gains once the project is completed.

“The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has spent five years cutting infrastructure investment and now wants more delays to suit its political convenience.

“Either that or the investment is not real and the projects would be pushed off into the Never-Never by a re-elected Morrison Government.’’

Labor candidate for Dickson Ali France said Federal Labor committed $60 million for the Linkfield Road Overpass in August.

“If both the Coalition and Labor all agree the overpass is necessary, we should stop looking for unnecessary delays and obstacles and get on with the job in the public interest,’’ Ms France said.

“This overpass will make a real difference to my community in terms of road safety and convenience.

“We’ve waited long enough.’’

Oct 24, 2018

Media Release – Morrison Must Release Funding For Rockhampton Ring Road – Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Scott Morrison should immediately release the funding he has secretly allocated for the Rockhampton Ring Road and get on with this important project.

According to media leaks, the Federal Government allocated investment for 10 major infrastructure projects, including the Rockhampton Ring Road, six months ago in the 2018 Budget.

But it cynically chose to delay announcing the work until the next Federal election campaign.

In Question Time today Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese asked Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack: “Why at a time when the road toll is rising and congestion in our cities is worsening, is the Government sitting on these projects and not getting on with the job of delivering them?’’

But Mr McCormack failed to address the question.

Mr Albanese said Prime Minister Scott Morrison should end the political games and release the money now so it can be put to use in the public interest.

“Scott Morrison should stop pussy footing around,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Commencing this project now would create much-needed economic activity and construction jobs in the short term and important productivity gains once the project is completed.

“The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has spent five years cutting infrastructure investment and now wants more delays to suit its political convenience.

“Either that or the investment is not real and the projects would be pushed off into the Never-Never by a re-elected Morrison Government.’’

Labor candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson said Federal Labor had already committed investment for the Ring Road, which was recommended in the Fitzroy River Floodplain and Road Planning study, commissioned by the former Labor Government in June, 2009, and completed in December, 2011.

“If there is bipartisan support we should just get on with the job,’’ Mr Robertson said.

“The Ring Road project would make a real difference in my community by eliminating traffic congestion and improving road safety.

“We have already waited too long, but Morrison Government is creating more unnecessary delays.’’

The Rockhampton Ring Road will run from the Yeppen Roundabout, along the western side of the airport to a third bridge crossing before reconnecting with the existing Bruce Highway at Parkhurst.

Oct 15, 2018

Media Release – It’s time for the Morrison Government to get behind High Speed Rail – Monday, 15 October 2018

Today I re-introduced to Parliament a Private Member’s Bill that would create an authority to begin detailed planning for construction of a High Speed Rail Link from Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra.

High Speed Rail down Australia’s east coast would revolutionise interstate travel, allowing people to move between capital cities in as little as three hours.

It would also turbo charge the economic development of the regional centres along its route, including the Gold Coast, Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton.

According to a leaked list of Coalition budget decisions made but not yet announced, the Morrison Government has already decided to support High Speed Rail after five years of ignoring the project.

However, it has decided to hold back that investment for political purposes, intending to announce it during the coming Federal election campaign.

This Bill represents an opportunity to put the politics aside get High Speed Rail moving now in the national interest.

It would create a High Speed Rail Authority which would immediately begin work to finalise the track alignment and a business case and identify opportunities for private sector involvement.

In 2013 the former Labor Government conducted a feasibility study into the project which found it was viable, producing $2.50 of economic benefit for every dollar invested on the Sydney-Melbourne section alone.

We then appointed an expert panel including former Nationals Leader Tim Fischer, Business Council of Australian chief executive Jennifer Westacott and the late Australasian Railways Association chief Bryan Nye to review that study.

The panel recommended the creation of a delivery authority to work with the governments of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory on detailed planning and corridor acquisition.

My Private Member’s Bill would establish that authority.

This is the fifth time since 2013 I have introduced this piece of legislation.

To this point, the Government has refused to facilitate debate.

Now is the time to adopt a bi-partisan approach to this important project.

Oct 14, 2018

Media Release – Getting Melbourne’s Suburban Rail Loop on a Faster Track – Sunday, 14 October, 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $300 million in the Suburban Rail Loop – getting the project going faster and creating jobs sooner.

Labor’s investment will support the development of a business case and get the planning work done quicker, enabling the construction to commence in 2022. The project will provide a major boost to the economy, creating 20,000 jobs in the construction phase alone and employing 2000 apprentices.

This is the sort of vision Melbourne needs – to keep up with the demands of Australia’s fastest growing capital city, investment in world-class, modern transport network is critical.

Melbourne is a great place to live and work. But between now and 2046, the city’s population is projected to grow to 7.3 million residents. Without proper planning and investment in the city’s roads and public transport infrastructure, the annual cost of traffic congestion will more than triple to $9 billion by 2030.

Labor understands how important it is to invest in decent public transport that will take the pressure off our cities, ease traffic congestion, and connect the suburbs and the regions – bringing jobs and apprenticeships along the way.

On completion, the Suburban Rail Loop will comprise of a 90 kilometre rail line through Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs via the airport, linking all of the city’s major train lines. It will connect the suburbs directly to major employment hubs, universities, TAFE and hospitals outside the city, making it much easier for Victorians to get around for work and recreation.

Labor’s investment will help finalise exact station locations, route alignments, rolling stock and staging, and get construction underway faster.

Expected to be used by 400,000 passengers a day, the project will take pressure off existing lines, as well as an estimated 200,000 cars off the city’s road network. Fewer cars on the road mean less congestion and shorter travel times.

Federal Labor’s investment follows expert analysis showing the project will slash travel times across the city. When complete, commuters will be able to travel from Box Hill to the airport in 25 minutes and to Monash Clayton in around 15 minutes. Travel from Broadmeadows to Deakin Burwood will be less than 25 minutes – connecting Victorians to education and work opportunities quicker and easier.

This commitment to the Suburban Rail Loop builds on Labor’s strong track record of delivering job-creating infrastructure that eases congestion for Victorians, and will match the funding commitment announced by the Andrews Labor Government in August this year.

Labor has made hard budget decisions to ensure our priorities are fully paid for – we will make multinationals pay their fair share and close unsustainable tax loopholes, because we want to build the cities and society that will give the next generation a better deal.

SUNDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2018

Oct 1, 2018

Media Release – Morrison Admits Responsibility for Reef Cash Splash – Monday, 1 October 2018

Scott Morrison has today admitted in The Australian newspaper that he is responsible for the decision to grant almost half a billion dollars in taxpayers’ money to a small private foundation in one hit.

The Government transferred every single dollar of almost a half billion dollars of taxpayers’ money to a small private foundation, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, on 28 June 2018.

It’s reported that Mr Morrison said this “made financial sense to consider doing this investment in one instalment.”

This is despite reports that the Department of Finance instead recommended the Budget allocation to protect the Reef be set at $200 million over six years.

This one-off transfer of almost half a billion dollars also costs the Australian taxpayer at least $11 million in public debt interest every year because the entire amount of the grant is already sitting in the Foundation’s bank accounts.
Scott Morrison still hasn’t answered whether any due diligence was done on the Foundation for a grant of $443.3 million, and not a smaller grant amount, before Malcolm Turnbull and the now Treasurer offered it almost half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money in a closed door meeting on 9 April 2018.

It’s also reported today that Scott Morrison said about the Reef grant “There is no impediment for government organisations like the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, or the CSIRO, being funded for projects as part of this process”.
Under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, we now have a situation where if one of these expert Government agencies wants to use some of this Commonwealth grant money, it first has to apply to a small private foundation.

By privatising the management of Australia’s most precious and fragile environmental asset, money which could have been spent on the Reef is instead spent on administration.  The agreement between the Environment Department and the Foundation allows the Foundation to spend up to $44 million of the grant money on its own administration.

Labor is committed to protection of the Great Barrier Reef.

A Shorten Labor Government will terminate the grant agreement between the Environment Department and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and demand the Foundation return unspent funds to taxpayers. All recovered funds will be invested in the Great Barrier Reef via Government agencies.

Sep 27, 2018

Media Release – Labor to Fund Commuter Parking at Frankston Station – Thursday, 27 September 2018

Federal Labor and the Andrews Labor Government will jointly fund a $35 million expansion of parking facilities at Frankston train station to help commuters overcome worsening parking shortages.

Federal Labor’s $17.5 million contribution will come from its $300 million National Park and Ride Fund for new or expanded car parks at public transport hubs.

Each weekday the existing car park at Frankston Station is full before 6.30am. Commuters rushing to catch their trains to work are forced to park in surrounding streets and walk to the station or park at stations further up the line.

Labor will deliver a 500-space car park with free parking, making it more convenient for commuters and easing congestion in the precinct.

This builds on Federal Labor’s commitment to deliver the extension of the Metro line to Baxter, which includes plans for new stations with park and ride options at Langwarrin and Baxter, and a new station for the Hospital and University precinct.

Across Australia traffic congestion is acting as a hand brake on productivity and economic growth and is eroding our quality of life.

The problem has worsened during the five years of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, which has cut funding for public transport projects and provided no policy leadership to other levels of government on the productivity, sustainability and liveability of cities.

Shadow Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Frankston car park would make a real, practical difference for commuters while also reducing congestion for local residents.

“We’ll not only invest in new public transport services, but also deliver practical measures to help commuters get to work with a minimum of fuss, including through our new Park and Ride Fund,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Public transport isn’t just about the train line or bus route itself. It’s also about the surrounding infrastructure that makes it work for local residents.’’

Labor candidate for Dunkley Peta Murphy said the Federal Coalition Government had not delivered a single major infrastructure project in Dunkley.

“Every project in the Frankston Station precinct – PARC, the trade training centre, Chisholm TAFE redevelopment, the station redevelopment and level crossing removals – has been the work of Labor governments,’’ Ms Murphy said.

“I know how important the issue of car parking is to locals. It is time for a Federal Government that is prepared to contribute to our region’s infrastructure needs.’’

Sep 26, 2018

Media Release – Coalition Too Incompetent to Deliver Own Infrastructure Promises – Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Scott Morrison must get to the bottom of the worsening infrastructure project delivery crisis within his Government that has seen it fail to deliver $4.9 billion worth of promised infrastructure projects over the past five years.
 
The Final Budget Outcome document for the 2017-18 Budget, released yesterday, shows that over the year to June 30, the Government promised to invest $7.9 billion on rail and road projects but in fact invested $6.9 billion.
 
Over the Coalition’s first five Budgets, the difference between what it promised and what it actually spent was $4.9 billion.
 
Projects promised but not delivered include general rail and road investment as well as literally hundreds of road safety projects under the Black Spot Program.
 
The Bridges Renewal Program, created by this Government, is underspent by more than half, with $290 million promised but $135 million delivered.
 
The 2017-18 result was no aberration. The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has failed to deliver infrastructure as promised in each of its four Budgets.
 
This is nothing short of a crisis in project delivery.
 
It is clear the Government’s revolving-door parade of infrastructure Ministers, including Warren Truss, Jamie Briggs, Darren Chester, Barnaby Joyce, Paul Fletcher, Michael McCormack and Alan Tudge, have all lacked the competence to deliver their own promises.
 
The Budget update follows recent news that earlier this year the Government approved more than $7 billion for new projects around the nation, but decided not to commence or even announce them until the next election campaign.
 
Instead of cynically holding back announcements for its political purposes, Mr Morrison must get on with the job of providing Australians with the railways and roads that he has promised and that they have paid for through their taxes.
 
Investing in the right infrastructure projects creates jobs and economic activity in the short-term, while boosting productivity and economic growth over the long-term.

 

UNDERSPEND: PROGRAM BY PROGRAM

 

Sep 24, 2018

Media Release – Coalition Turns Political Intereference into an Art Form – Monday, 24 September 2018

The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s politicisation of the independent Infrastructure Australia has reached a new low, with the organisation listing Adelaide’s Gawler Line rail electrification project as a priority project.

While the listing is welcome, Infrastructure Australia first listed this important public transport project as “ready to go’’ in 2009 and the former Federal Labor Government committed nearly $300 million in the 2009 Budget toward its delivery.

In 2013 the incoming Coalition Government stopped the project midstream, returned half the funding that had not been invested to the Budget and it was removed from the Infrastructure Australia National Priority List.

While it is a good thing that the Gawler Line project is finally being advanced, it would have been completed years ago if the Coalition had acted upon the independent advice when it took office.

The former Labor Government created Infrastructure Australia to independently assess infrastructure proposals on the basis of costs and benefits.

The fact that the organisation removed the Gawler Line from the list after the Coalition refused to provide funding, only to replace it now that the Government says it will deliver the project, confirms Infrastructure Australia no longer operates at arms’ length of government.

Cities Minister Alan Tudge today released a statement expressing excitement that the Gawler Electrification project had been listed on the Infrastructure Australia Priority List.

Mr Tudge should be apologising to the people of Adelaide for being part of a Government that has needlessly delayed the project for five years.

A Labor Government will respect Infrastructure Australia’s independence and return it to the centre of an evidence-based infrastructure process.

 

 

Sep 24, 2018

Media Release – Morrison Must Embrace Labor’s Rockhampton Ring Road Plan – Monday, 24 September 2018

The Morrison Government should stop dithering and match Federal Labor’s commitment to partner with the Queensland Government to deliver the Rockhampton Ring Road.

While Federal Labor has already committed to building the 22km Ring Road, the Coalition has not, despite the project appearing on a leaked list of Coalition funding commitments that have been decided upon but not announced.

It’s clear the Coalition decided months ago to back this important project but has cynically decided to withhold confirmation until a time that suits its political needs.

The Coalition should stop playing games. The people and businesses of Rockhampton deserve certainty.

The Rockhampton Ring Road was recommended in the Fitzroy River Floodplain and Road Planning Study, which investigated long-term solutions for Bruce Highway flooding, impacts on freight, road and rail transport in and around the city of Rockhampton.

It was commissioned by the former Labor Government in June 2009 and was concluded in December 2011.

The Ring Road will run from the Yeppen Roundabout, along the western side of the airport to a third bridge crossing before reconnecting with the existing highway at Parkhurst.

It would reduce congestion on local streets, improve road safety and enhance liveability for local residents.

It would also boost the economic capacity of Central Queensland, supporting the growth of new local industries and new jobs.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese said the Queensland Government was doing its job by moving ahead with planning, but the Coalition was yet to confirm its position.

“After the recent political chaos within the Liberal Party that led to the dumping of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, Australians are sick of needless politicking and partisanship,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“It is time for the Coalition to back the Rockhampton Ring Road and deliver funding as soon as possible, rather than taking its usual position of promising money but pushing its delivery off into the Never-Never.’’

Labor candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson said Labor was strongly committed to investing in infrastructure in regional Queensland. ‘

“The Ring Road will create jobs and take thousands of trucks off our streets, making Rocky safer and easier to get around,” Mr Robertson said.

Labor’s commitment to the Rockhampton Ring Road builds on our strong track record of delivering for Central Queensland’s road network, including the major Yeppen Roundabout and Bridge upgrade.

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