Dec 26, 2012

Coalition boxes and shelves $4 billion of infrastructure projects

It’s only the day after Christmas and the Coalition has already boxed and shelved $4 billion of key infrastructure projects in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 

Shadow Transport spokesman Warren Truss today revealed in an interview with Fairfax that two key infrastructure projects in Melbourne and Sydney promised by the Coalition “will take at least a couple of years and maybe longer for those two to start construction”. 

This reneges on Tony Abbott’s promise to have “cranes over our cities”, “bulldozers at work” and construction “underway within 12 months of a change of government” on Sydney’s WestConnex, Melbourne’s East-West Link and Brisbane’s Gateway Extension. 

Warren Truss’ admission has left the Opposition Leader red faced and caught out – exposing Tony Abbott’s promises for the hoax that they are. Yet again, the Coalition has been caught out for not doing their homework on infrastructure, or worse still, for simply making things up. 

But we shouldn’t be surprised. Tony Abbott was a senior minister in a government (1996-2007) which slashed road funding by $2 billion, starved rail of much-needed investment and refused to commit even one dollar to urban public transport.  In fact under the former Howard Government infrastructure spending hit a record low. 

Contrast this to Federal Labor’s record – after a decade of neglect and inaction, total public and private investment in the nation’s road, rail, energy, and water infrastructure has surged 42 per cent over the last five years, hitting a record of more than $51 billion a year. 

This rise is a direct result of the actions taken by Federal Labor. As well as establishing Infrastructure Australia, we’ve doubled the roads budget, lifted spending on rail tenfold, and committed more to urban public transport than all previous governments since Federation combined. 

All up, we’ve increased the annual infrastructure budget from $141 to $269 per person. 

Unlike Federal Labor, Tony Abbott has no plan for our nation’s infrastructure, only a campaign of deceit and empty promises, proving yet again he’s not fit to be Prime Minister.