Nov 21, 2013

Coalition in disarray over road funding

Tony Abbott must intervene to overrule his squabbling senior Ministers and deliver funding certainty for critical major highway upgrades in West Australia.

In Parliament today Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss confirmed his government had not allocated funding for the much-needed upgrading of the Great Northern Highway and the North West Coastal highway.

The previous Labor Government had committed funding in the 2013/14 budget to both projects.

Mr Truss’s refusal to commit to these projects in Question Time today put him at odds with Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs’ November 6 guarantee they would proceed.

As the Finance Minister said before the election, we are committed to those projects – the Great Northern Highway and the North West Coastal – because they are extremely important projects. 

Jamie Briggs interview, 6PR, November 6, 2013 

Which is it, Mr Abbott? Will these projects fall to the Abbott axe, or won’t they?

It is becoming increasingly clear the Coalition has come to office without a plan beyond axing anything related to the previous Labor Government.

These two projects, together worth nearly $500 million, are aimed at lifting safety standards on these roads and boosting WA’s economic productivity.

Efficient roads improve economic productivity and that creates jobs. Safer roads save lives.

Mr Abbott and his Ministers should roll up their sleeves and get on with it.