Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has refused to explain why he intends to cut Commonwealth infrastructure grants to South Australia to just 2 per cent of its national infrastructure budget in 2020-21.
In Question Time today Mr Joyce boasted of his Government’s generosity to infrastructure projects in SA, despite the fact that Commonwealth infrastructure grants to the state will fall from $921.4 million in 2017-18 to $95.2 million in 2020-21.
The absurd claim came as Mr Joyce struggled to answer a series of detailed questions about the Infrastructure ministry, which he has held since December.
Specifically asked about the SA infrastructure budget, Mr Joyce began talking about Commonwealth investment in the defence industry, which has nothing to do with his portfolio.
It is clear Mr Joyce doesn’t have a clue about infrastructure in SA, which requires increased investment to drive productivity gains and boost economic growth and job creation.
In particular, SA needs a Commonwealth contribution to the AdeLINK project, which will tackle Adelaide’s worsening traffic congestion, which acts as a hand brake on growth.
Labor has a strong record of investing in SA infrastructure.
Over six years in office, the former Federal Labor Government increased per capita annual investment in SA from $109 per person to $272 per person.