The Government’s attempt to hide its own failure on infrastructure reached farcical proportions today with its attempt to claim credit for the Moreton Bay Rail Link.
This important project was announced by the former Labor government on 27 July, 2010, and an intergovernmental agreement was signed by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard, then Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and then Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland at North Lakes on 3 December, 2010.
Construction work commenced in 2012 and the project created 8000 jobs over the life of its construction.
This Moreton Bay Rail Link was first promised in 1895. But it took a Federal Labor Government to make the long-awaited rail line a reality with $742 million in funding.
When Labor announced the project, then Liberal candidate for Petrie Dean Teasdale told ABC radio “now is not the time’’ to spend the money to build the line. (Interview with Spencer Howson, ABC612 27 July, 2010)
This was consistent with statements by his leader Tony Abbott, who declared federal funding for public transport to be as silly as “the state government having to buy new tanks for the army’’.
Of course, the Abbott Government cancelled all funding for public transport projects that were not already under construction when it was elected in 2013.
The only reason why the Moreton Bay rail Link has been completed was that it was already under construction prior to the 2013 election.
The attempt by Turnbull Government ministers to erase from history the Abbott Government’s anti-public transport stance treats the public with contempt and is farcical.