The Abbott Government’s Magical Mystery Infrastructure Reannouncement tour hit overdrive today, with Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss reannouncing four different projects in Western Australia, conceived and funded by the previous Labor Government, and presenting them as new.
As the Government seeks to lift its political stocks ahead of the September 19 Canning by-election, Mr Truss today claimed credit in Parliament for funding Gateway WA, the North West Coastal Highway, the Great Northern Highway and NorthLink.
In fact, all four projects were funded by the former Labor Government. Construction on the Perth Gateway project has been underway for more than two years, while the so-called NorthLink project is simply a renaming of the Swan Valley Bypass, also funded by the Labor Government.
Since taking office, the Abbott Government has not commenced a single new infrastructure project in WA that it did not inherit from Labor. One of its first decisions was to cancel $500 million allocated by the former Labor Government for public transport projects in Perth.
In its 2015 Budget, the Government actually cut national infrastructure investment by $2 billion over two years.
The latest reannouncements continue the Abbott Government’s deceitful attempt to hide its cuts from Australians.
Australia needs a government prepared to invest in the next wave of productivity enhancing infrastructure projects, not a copycat administration apparently unable to get new projects up and running.