Feb 12, 2013

Abbott Caught Out Telling Porkies to Tasmanians

Evidence given today in Senate Estimates confirms that Tony Abbott has not been straight with Tasmanians about his “promise” to duplicate the Midland Highway between Hobart and Launceston.

Federal Infrastructure Department Secretary Mike Mrdak has informed Senators that the $400 million promised by Mr Abbott would be nowhere near enough to fully duplicate the Highway:

MIKE MRDAK: I am aware that the Tasmanian Government has, I think in the past, costed it at around $2.7 billion.

QUESTION:  So a commitment of $400 million would be nowhere in the ball park to duplicate that?

MIKE MRDAK:  No Senator, … certainly not provide for the duplication of the full highway.

This stands in stark contrast with what Mr Abbott was telling Tasmanians just a few weeks ago:

“…the Coalition Government will spend $400 million to ensure that the Midland Highway is fully duplicated between Hobart and Launceston.  …and we believe that’s enough to do the job.”


Wrong.  Mr Abbott has only committed a fraction of what would be required.

Mr Abbott hasn’t got a plan for Tasmania’s infrastructure.  All he’s doing is repeating the same uncosted and unfunded con job.  It is time for him to stop the charade and begin listening to those who actually design, build and operate our nation’s infrastructure.

For our part, Federal Labor has almost doubled infrastructure spending from $157 to $264 per Tasmanian.  This record capital works program has, amongst other things, built the Brighton Bypass and delivered the most significant upgrade of the State’s rail network ever undertaken.