Jan 31, 2017

A new name doesn’t mean a new project

Western Australian voters should not be fooled by the state and federal governments’ ongoing pretence that the Northlink road project, from the intersection of the Reid and Tonkin Highways to Muchea, is new.

The project was funded by the former Labor Federal Government in the 2013 Budget, after a determined campaign by local councils when it was known as the Swan Valley Bypass.

The Coalition Governments changed the name of the project in 2014. A new name does not make it a new project.

In yet another example of the gap between the Government’s rhetoric and its action, it actually invested only $7 million in 2015-16 of the $40 million that was in the Budget for that year.

The Turnbull Government has attempted similar con jobs involving changing the names or timing of projects right around the nation.

In their biggest and most flagrant deception, Malcolm Turnbull and his Ministers continue to mislead Australians with the claim that they are delivering a $50 billion infrastructure program.

In fact the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, which is charged with rolling out the program, values it at $34 billion over five years with another $8 billion allocated into an unspecified future period.

As the WA economy continues to transit out of the investment stage of the mining boom, the state and federal governments should be lifting infrastructure investment to support jobs and ongoing economic growth.

Instead, both governments have reduced investment and resorted to cheap deception to pretend otherwise.
Only Labor will fund WA’s ongoing infrastructure needs.

Our track record of investment is not just this project, but other road and rail projects including Perth Citylink, Gateway WA, the Great Eastern Highway upgrade, Muchea to Wubin upgrades and the Great Northern Highway, North West Coastal Highway and Bunbury and Esperance upgrades.

We understand there is a role for government to invest in infrastructure, not just to create jobs and economic activity in the short term, but also to deliver productivity gains that will help drive long-term economic growth.