Feb 2, 2007

Australian Government investment in infrastructure ranked amongst lowest in the

Australian Government investment in infrastructure ranked amongst lowest in the developed world

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

2 February 2007

The government’s own research has shown that Australia ranks 20th out of 25 OECD countries for its public investment in infrastructure as a proportion of GDP.

The research cites overwhelming evidence suggesting that public investment in infrastructure offers a high rate of return.

In particular, lack of Federal Government investment in ports is constraining our export capacity and leaving Australia vulnerable. Export volumes must be boosted to ensure continued economic growth.

The Federal government will be quick to shift blame to the Sates or dump its responsibilities to the private sector, however, what Australia needs is national leadership and investment in nation building projects.

While the Howard Government is happy to have its coffers filled with tax returns from resources rich States, it will not invest these returns to upgrade critical infrastructure to sustain Australia’s economic prosperity.

Labor believes that investment in infrastructure can increase GDP, business investment, housing investment, exports, and living standards.

Although the Business Council of Australia has estimated that Australia has a $90 billion shortfall in infrastructure, the Howard government has no long term plan for financing Australia’s infrastructure needs and after more than 10 years in government has no official, up-to-date record or database on the state of the nation’s economic infrastructure assets.

Federal Labor acknowledges that there is a role for both public and private investment in infrastructure and through the creation of Infrastructure Australia will conduct an audit of Australia’s infrastructure needs; coordinate, plan and deliver projects; and facilitate increased investment in critical national infrastructure.

Federal government investment in national infrastructure is critical to sustain productivity and economic growth.

Only a Rudd Labor Government can lock in Australia’s future prosperity.