Nov 23, 2017

Coalition Cuts $700 Million from Promised Queensland Infrastructure Investment

The Abbott-Turnbull Government has failed to deliver $700 million that it promised to invest in Queensland infrastructure in the past three years.

Budget papers show the Government undertook to invest $5.1 billion on Queensland infrastructure in its first three Budgets (2014/15 to 2016-17),

But Final Budget Outcome documents reveal it actually invested $4.4 billion.

The $700 million shortfall indicates the Government has failed to deliver even its own minimal commitments by failing to roll out projects as promised.

The cuts include $750 million to Major Road Projects, $51 million to the Northern Australia Roads Program and $22 million to the Beef Roads Program.

The Government also cut $30 million from the important Black Spots road safety program, which upgrades safety at the locations of fatal or serious accidents.

Based on the cost of the average Black Spot upgrade, the Government could have upgraded about 190 dangerous Black Spots if only it had invested what it promised.

The Government also cut $21 million from promised investment in the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, which improves road safety by providing rest stops and parking areas for trucks.

Queensland needs increased infrastructure investment to provide jobs and economic activity in the short and medium term while also lifting productivity and road safety standards over the long term.

But the Federal Coalition Government has failed to deliver.

It makes big-spending promises every Budget, when Queenslanders are focused on the Treasurer’s Budget speech, but then fails to follow through, apparently hoping no-one will notice.

This pattern of deceptive behaviour is not confined to Queensland.

Across the nation the Government delivered $3.9 billion less infrastructure investment than promised in its first three Budgets.

This $700 million cut in Queensland could have been contributed to projects like Brisbane’s much-needed Cross River Rail project without impacting on the Budget bottom line at the time of the Budget announcements.

Labor has a record of delivery when it comes to infrastructure investment in Queensland.

Over six years the former Labor Federal Government more than doubled per capita infrastructure investment from $143 per Queenslander per year to $314.