Aug 10, 2012

Federal Coalition ditches their Bells Line expressway promise

This week we learnt that the Federal Coalition has no intention of upgrading the Bell’s Line of Roads into an “expressway”, despite the numerous promises made by local National Party MP John Cobb.

On local radio, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey confirmed that he doesn’t consider this project a funding priority, telling listeners:

“If … a toll would work then certainly there’s merit in the investment.  But if it’s just a direct outlay of government money, I don’t want to raise expectations I can’t deliver on.”

STAR FM (DUBBO) – 7 AUGUST 2012

That’s a damning repudiation of Mr Cobb who shortly after the last election and with hand on heart told the National Parliament:

“It is clear that only the Coalition is committed to building a safer and better road across the mountains.  The Bells Line Expressway must be put back on the agenda now – immediately, not sometime during the next 25 years.”

HANSARD – 18 OCTOBER 2010

Mr Hockey has let the proverbial cat out of the bag.  Faced with a $70 billion plus black hole in their costings, the Federal Coalition has ditched their promise to upgrade what is a State road into a multi-billion dollar expressway – and along with it, what remains of Mr Cobb’s credibility.

When it comes to nation building infrastructure, only Federal Labor means what it says and does what it promises.  Since coming to office in late 2007, we’ve doubled the Federal roads budget and increased investment in rail ten-fold.