Mar 26, 2010

Barnaby’s no nation builder

Barnaby’s no nation builder

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

March 26 2010

The Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott has again shown poor judgement, this time appointing a person to the shadow infrastructure portfolio who wants to delay and cancel infrastructure projects.

Senator Barnaby Joyce wants to cancel the final stage of the Economic Stimulus Plan, labelling as “unwarranted” and “inappropriate” this $8.4 billion investment in the nation’s road, public transport and port infrastructure.

On 10 December 2008, Senator Joyce told Sky News:

“Well I think the whole … stimulus package was not warranted in the form it went out. I think the stimulus package was inappropriate.”

The Senator must today come clean on which of the following stimulus infrastructure projects he thinks are unwarranted and would cancel:

  • Hunter Expressway (NSW) – $1.5 billion;
  • Kempsey Bypass on the Pacific Highway (NSW) – $618 million;
  • Upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway (Queensland) – $2.5 billion;
  • Regional Rail Link (Victoria) – $3.2 billion;
  • Extension and electrification of Adelaide urban rail network (South Australia) – $584 million;
  • Modernisation of the interstate rail network – $1.2 billion;
  • Duplication of the Bruce Highway between Cooroy to Curra – $488 million; or
  • Northbridge Rail Link (Western Australia) – $236 million.

If Senator Joyce cannot answer this question, he will be just as much a failure as Shadow Infrastructure Minister as he was when Shadow Finance Minister.

In government the Liberal and National parties could even be bothered having an infrastructure minister. Now in Opposition they have shadow infrastructure minister that wants to rip the guts out infrastructure spending.