A Shorten Labor Government will abolish the Coalition’s new Infrastructure Financing Unit and reallocate its funding to Infrastructure Australia.
The IFU is a solution in search of a problem.
It is unnecessary to create a new bureaucracy within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to advise on financing big projects when Infrastructure Australia already has the expertise and the legislative mandate to advise on project financing.
On top of this, the infrastructure sector says the new agency is not needed.
In its pre-Budget submission peak industry group Infrastructure Partnerships Australia said it could not identify any currently proposed, commercially viable infrastructure project not already attracting finance.
Imploring Mr Turnbull not to create the IFU, the IPA submission said: “Commonwealth Government funding support is needed for infrastructure – Commonwealth financing is not.’’
Malcolm Turnbull is creating the IFU to sideline Infrastructure Australia and divert attention from his cuts to infrastructure funding, which IPA analysis says will hit a 10-year low over the next four years.
Just like his chatter about “innovative financing arrangements,’’ Mr Turnbull is using the IFU to conceal his cuts.
Australia does not need a new bureaucracy.
It needs a Labor Government to invest in the railways, roads and other critical infrastructure that will boost productivity and underpin economic growth.
A Shorten Labor Government will abolish the IFU and reallocate the $7.4 million saved to Infrastructure Australia to enhance its ability to deliver on its core functions of assessing projects, producing a pipeline of projects and recommending financing mechanisms.
The money will also be used to re-establish the Major Cities Unit, scrapped by the Coalition, within Infrastructure Australia.
The former Labor Government created this unit to research and advise on policies aimed at improving the productivity, sustainability and liveabilit