Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce today nominated his Government’s investment in the Inland Rail Link between Brisbane and Melbourne as evidence of his Government’s commitment to Tasmanian infrastructure.
In Question Time today I cited Budget papers to ask why the Turnbull-Joyce Government plans to cut Federal infrastructure investment in Tasmania from $175 million this financial year to $52.6 million in 2019-20.
Mr Joyce struggled to answer.
He began by claiming the Coalition was responsible for the Midland Highway upgrade. In fact, the project was funded by the former Federal Labor Government and subject to a $100 million cut by the incoming Coalition Government in 2013.
As Labor MPs pointed out the error to Mr Joyce, he began to promote the benefits of Inland Rail, a project that will be of no benefit to Tasmania.
The Coalition has dudded Tasmania on investment in rail, roads and other infrastructure.
Indeed, since taking office, it has not commenced a single new federal funded major infrastructure project in the state.
With such a record of cuts and neglect, it is no wonder Mr Joyce struggled to address the facts today.
By contrast, the former Federal Labor Government invested heavily in Tasmania over six years in office, lifting investment from $157 per Tasmanian per year to $264.