Feb 19, 2018

Feds rip off South Australia on infrastructure investment

The Turnbull Government will slash South Australia’s share of its infrastructure grants to a paltry 2 per cent in coming years, despite the state being home to 7 per cent of the national population.

Budget forward estimates show Commonwealth infrastructure grants to South Australia will fall off a cliff in coming years from $921 million in 2017-18 to $474 million in 2018-19, $349.5 million in 2019-20 and $95 million in 2020-21.

This represents a 90 per cent decline over four years as the Turnbull Government shifts its funding focus to other states at South Australia’s expense.

South Australians have a right to expect the Federal Government will deliver their state a fair share of its investment programs.

Instead, the Government’s own figures confirm it will rip off South Australia, ignoring its need for investment in rail, roads and other infrastructure to lift productivity and underpin jobs and economic growth.

The Commonwealth should be investing in South Australia, particularly on public transport to tackle the traffic congestion in Adelaide that is acting as a hand brake on growth and eroding the city’s quality of life.

In spite of Malcolm Turnbull’s rhetoric on public transport, the Government has confirmed the cut to the electrification of the Gawler Line and failed to put a single dollar into AdeLINK light rail.

Infrastructure Minister Barnaby Joyce, who last week in Parliament displayed a lamentable ignorance of his own portfolio, needs to rethink his South Australian infrastructure rip-off and deliver the state the funding levels it requires and deserves.