May 22, 2017

Estimates confirm Victorian infrastructure rip-off

This morning’s Senate Budget Estimates hearings in Canberra have confirmed that Budget 2017 does not include a single extra dollar for Victorian infrastructure.

In his Budget Speech on May 9, Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed he had made $1 billion available for regional rail and infrastructure projects in Victoria.

But in a Senate Budget Estimates hearing this morning, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development secretary Mike Mrdak said the money was not new.

Labor Senator Glen Sterle: “So there is no new money; this is just a shift?’’

Mr Mrdak responded: “…it does not represent new funding in terms of the Budget Forward Estimates.

The admission highlights the Turnbull Government’s ongoing campaign of deceit over its level of infrastructure investment in Victoria.

Prior to the delivery of the Budget earlier this month, Victoria, home to a quarter of Australians, was receiving less than 8 per cent of the national infrastructure Budget.

Despite Mr Morrison’s attempts to pretend otherwise, nothing has changed since Budget night.

The Turnbull Government is continuing to punish Victorians for having the temerity to elect a Labor Government and continuing to refuse to work with the Andrews Labor Government in a co-operative way in the public interest.

While the Government is presenting a fantasy version of its commitment to infrastructure, Budget 2017 in fact cut infrastructure investment by $1.6 billion nationally in this year alone, including by $150 million in Victoria.