May 6, 2015

Budget must deliver real increases in infrastructure investment

Tony Abbott must deliver genuine new investment in productive infrastructure in next week’s Budget to make up for his disastrous 2014-15 Budget.

In last year’s Budget, Mr Abbott slashed billions of dollars of planned investment in urban public transport.

Despite this he has attempted to mislead Australians by claiming he has lifted infrastructure investment.

Tony Abbott’s only answer in infrastructure has been to fly around the country re-announcing projects planned and delivered under the previous Labor Government, which actually did deliver record investment.

In government Labor lifted Australia from 20th to 1st on a list of OECD nations in terms of infrastructure spending as a proportion of GDP.

Tony Abbott has also cut funding to projects approved by Infrastructure Australia such as the Melbourne Metro and the M80 in order to fund the now discredited East-West Link told road without seeing a cost-benefit analysis.

Backing the East-West Link was all about Tony Abbott’s political needs and nothing about the transport needs of Victorians.

Instead of attempting to save his job by investing in poor projects without evidence about whether they represent value for public money, Tony Abbott must start listening to the independent experts at Infrastructure Australia and invest in projects that can genuinely boost the nation’s economic productivity.

He should also stop the Magical Infrastructure Re-announcement Tour and use the 2015 Budget to deliver genuine new investment to drive the next phase of Australian Nation Building, including by reversing his absurd refusal to invest in public transport