Aug 3, 2010

Federal Coalition telling porkies about regional road funding

Federal Coalition telling porkies about regional road funding

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 3 2010

The Liberal and National parties are at it again, telling porkies about Federal Labor’s record on regional road funding in order to avoid scrutiny over the more than $10 billion in unfunded road and rail promises they have already raked up.

The latest attempt to deliberately mislead regional communities comes from the Liberal Member for Paterson, Bob Baldwin, who recently claimed on ABC Newcastle (26/07/10): “We saw very little regional rural road funding for this Labor Government over the past three years…”

“Mr Baldwin knows that statement is not the ‘Gospel truth’,” said Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.

“While I’d be delighted to debate Mr Baldwin anywhere, anytime and compare our record to that of the former Howard Government, there are a few facts those living in Regional Australia should know come Election Day.”

In less than three years, this Labor Government has:

  • More than doubled spending on the nation’s regional highways and country roads to over $20 billion which includes $1.5 billion to build the Hunter Expressway near Mr Baldwin’s own electorate of Paterson; and
  • Boosted by almost 20 per cent the funding going to regional councils and country shires to help them maintain their local roads.

“What’s more, the Federal Coalition opposed our recession-busting, job-creating Economic Stimulus Plan and the funding it provided to start or accelerate work on 17 major regional road projects as well as fix hundreds of notorious black spots and install boom gates at high risk level crossings,” said Anthony Albanese.

“Compared to Labor’s unprecedented investment in regional road infrastructure, the Federal Coalition ripped $2 billion out of the roads budget last time they were in office and they are now led by a politician who does not think the Federal government should be in the business of building new roads and railway lines.

“Instead of making things up, Mr Baldwin and his leader Tony Abbott should name the existing road projects they would cancel in order to pay for the many unfunded promises they have made in regional Australia.”