Today in Question Time Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester confirmed the Turnbull Government invested only $5.5 billion on infrastructure in in 2015-16 despite having promised to invest $8 billion in its 2014 Budget.
Mr Chester has also underlined his incompetence by attributing the cut to re-phasing of investment into future years – the same excuse the Government used last year when it made a cut of $900 million.
The cuts are due to a combination of the Government cancelling Federal funding for major public transport projects like Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project and the Melbourne Metro; delaying commencement of projects such as Melbourne’s M80 upgrade and Adelaide’s South Road project and; slowing the pace of ongoing projects like upgrades of the Bruce and Pacific Highways.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show total public sector investment in infrastructure plunged by 20 per cent in the Government’s first two years in office.
As Australia continues to seek to adjust to the end of the investment stage of the mining boom, the Government should be lifting infrastructure investment to sustain economic activity and jobs.
Instead, it continues to cut investment and pretend otherwise by re-announcing old projects funded under budgets of the former Labor Government.