Today’s MYEFO announcements on infrastructure represent the Government’s final abandonment of the Infrastructure Australia process of evidence-based decision making on infrastructure investment.
The closure of the Building Australia Fund, which was for projects approved by Infrastructure Australia, would be bad enough in itself, but the funding of 75 small projects, 73 of which are in Coalition-held electorates at the time of the election, is an appalling abuse of Commonwealth responsibility.
Not one of these projects has been approved by Infrastructure Australia.
The Government’s MYEFO announcements are short-sighted and will reduce future economic growth.
While the Government has found funding for pathetic pork barrelling, it has failed to invest in major public transport projects including Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, the Melbourne Metro, the Western Sydney Rail Line, the Peth Metronet or AdeLINK.
At a time when the mining boom is moving from its investment stage to production, the Government should be increasing investment in infrastructure to support jobs and economnic growth.
Instead, the Turnbull Government is cutting overall investment and pretending otherwise.
Investing in the right projects would support economic and jobs growth in the short-term while boosting productivity over the longer term, thereby underpinning future growth.