Jul 1, 2016

Liberals have no plan for nation building

News that 96 per cent of the Turnbull Government’s proposed new road projects are located in Coalition-held electorates confirms that Malcolm Turnbull has no serious plan for infrastructure investment to support growth in the Australian economy.

While Mr Turnbull pumps money for small road projects into marginal electorates, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show total public sector infrastructure investment fell by 20 per cent between the September quarters of 2013 and 2015.

Mr Turnbull has produced no plan for tackling urban traffic congestion, which Infrastructure Australia has warned will cost the nation $53 billion a year by 2031.

Instead, $750 million of road funding listed in his formal election costings targets Coalition-held electorates, while Australians in non-Coalition seats miss out.

Only two out of 77 projects listed are located in non-Coalition seats – both of which are marginal.

This is not a strategy for economic growth. It is a flagrant vote-buying exercise.

By contrast, Labor has produced a balanced plan for carefully targeted investment in public transport and roads around the nation, with an emphasis on projects that will boost productivity and spark jobs growth.

Labor’s guide for infrastructure investment is the public interest. Mr Turnbull’s guide is the electoral map.

Earlier this week Labor produced detailed policy documents on infrastructure, aviation and shipping, demonstrating our commitment to proper planning and evidence-based investment.

By contrast, the Liberals have produced no aviation or shipping plans and their infrastructure policy has been revealed as a badly disguised pork barrel.

Only a Shorten Labor Government can be trusted to deliver the railways, roads, ports and other key infrastructure to serve the needs of average Australians and underpin economic growth.