Feb 13, 2018

Joyce clueless on Queensland’s missing $1 billion

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has refused to explain why the Federal Coalition Government has invested more than $1 billion less on Queensland infrastructure than it promised in its first four Budgets.

Between 2014-15 and 2017-18, the Government announced $7.2 billion worth of funding commitments for roads and other infrastructure in Queensland.

But Budget Outcome documents show the Government actually invested $6.1 billion.

Today in Question Time I asked Mr Joyce to account for the real cut of $1 billion and explain how many jobs would have been created in Queensland if his Government had spent that money as promised.

Mr Joyce refused to address the question. He is clearly not across the detail of Queensland infrastructure projects other than the proposed Inland Rail Link between Brisbane and Melbourne, which would pass through his NSW electorate but not connect to the Port of Brisbane.

The Government has either been misleading Queenslanders about its actual plans, or is incapable of rolling out projects as promised.

Mr Joyce needs to confront this under-spending problem to ensure Queensland gets its fair share of federal infrastructure grants.