Nov 9, 2017

Coalition too hopeless to meet own promises

Tasmanians have become accustomed to Turnbull Government cuts to railway and road investment, but new figures confirm it is not even delivering the reduced budgets it has promised.

Budget documents show that in the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s first three budgets it promised to invest $415 million on Tasmanian infrastructure.

In fact it invested $323 million – a $92 million cut on its commitments.

If the Government had delivered as promised, rail and road projects could be underway right now across Tasmania, providing jobs and economic activity in the short term while boosting productivity in the long term.

The Government’s cuts include $66.3 million to promised road investment and $28.2 million on promised rail investment.

The Government has also drastically cut investment in the Black Spots Program, which delivers safety upgrades to roads where there have been serious traffic accidents.

While the Government promised to invest $6.1 million on this important road safety program in its first three budgets, it has in fact invested $3.5 million.

Based on the fact that the average Black Spot upgrade costs $157,000, the Government could have upgraded at least 16 more traffic accident Black Spots if only it had spent money that it allocated in its Budgets.

The non-delivery of promised funding indicates the Government is either misleading Tasmanian’s about its actual intentions or is not up to the job of administering infrastructure programs.

And things are set to go from bad to worse.  Over the next four years, Federal investment in Tasmania’s infrastructure is set to fall off a cliff, declining from $175 million this financial year to $62 million in 2020-21.

It comes in sharp contrast to the record of the former Federal Labor Government, which invested $1.9 billion in Tasmania over six years, lifting per capita infrastructure expenditure form $157 per Tasmanian per year to $264.