May 15, 2016

Coalition cuts millions from WA infrastructure

West Australians will spend more time stuck in traffic and face lengthier commutes following the Coalition’s cuts to WA infrastructure in this year’s Budget.

Two weeks ago the Federal Liberal Government cut $72 million funding for the Swan Valley Bypass compared to that allocated in the 2015 Budget, for 2016-17.

The former federal Labor Government funded the Swan Valley Bypass in the 2013 Budget. The Bypass will ease congestion and improve productivity and safety for road users.

Upon being elected, the Liberals renamed the project NorthLink and sought to take political credit for the project, along with other Labor Government funded infrastructure projects including Gateway WA, Great Northern Highway, North West Coastal Highway, Tonkin Highway and Leach Highway.

A new name does not make it a new project.

The Liberals also cut more than $500 million allocated in the 2013 Budget for Perth public transport projects despite Perth being identified as one of the cities to be worst affected by increasing traffic congestion in coming decades.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that since the Abbott-Turnbull Government was elected public infrastructure funding has fallen by 20 per cent.

At a time when Western Australia urgently needs productivity-driving, job-creating infrastructure projects, this is the wrong approach.

The former Labor Government almost doubled annual spending on WA infrastructure from $154 to $261 per West Australian.

The people of Western Australia know that only a federal Labor Government will deliver the infrastructure that their state needs.